Published: 01/10/2014 - Updated: 10/16/2018
Garlic is valued for its medicinal properties and it is also a major ingredient used to flavor our food. However, today, black garlic is becoming increasingly more important.
Black garlic is not as well-known as its white counterpart, but with its unique flavor, vibrant colour and smooth texture, it is gaining popularity. It is believed that it could have twice the antioxidants that are contained in the common white garlic.
What is black garlic?
It is Garlic that has gone through a fermentation process, hence the name "black" garlic. You can then buy bulbs and cloves after this process, which is gaining new devotees daily.
Black garlic is produced by fermentation of the bulbs at temperatures of 65-80°C in an atmosphere of controlled humidity for almost a month. After this, the garlic becomes black.
After fermentation, a process of oxidation for about 45 days takes place to acquire a sweet taste similar to a plum.
The black garlic can be eaten raw or cooked in the same way as fresh garlic. Although garlic is the only component of black garlic, it is likely that the flavor does not resemble anything you have tasted before. Black garlic is full of complex flavors: The initial bite is mild, followed by an explosion of caramel sweetness and a salty finish.
Black Garlic Nutrition
The good news is that it is not only useful for the kitchen, black garlic is also rich in vitamin C, sulfur compounds and other antioxidants and it is estimated that during the process of fermentation, garlic can triple the amount of antioxidants it contains.
Benefits of black garlic
Although more research on the benefits of black garlic is required, it is believed that the process of fermentation results in a "super" garlic, increasing its positive effects on human health.
To enjoy its benefits, it is recommended to eat 3-5 cloves of garlic a day (before or after the meal).
Rich in antioxidants that are essential for our immune system, black garlic also fights free radicals.
High Blood Pressure: Garlic (Allium sativu) is one of the oldest medicinal plants. It is useful in treating hypertension and possibly useful for combating high cholesterol levels.
Prevents headaches: Similar to aspirin, it improves circulation.
Fights against colds: Recent studies have shown that garlic has similar properties of antibiotics, so consumption may be useful to combat cold symptoms and to prevent them.
Cardiovascular Benefits: Scientific studies have shown that garlic can be linked to the prevention of heart disease. Studies suggest that garlic prevents the formation of plaque in the arteries, and may even reduce it.
Weight Loss: Garlic also helps in fat metabolism and so may have slimming properties if combined with a good diet.
Combats parasites: Garlic is a popular remedy for intestinal parasites and has been used for this purpose for many years.
The fermentation that produces black garlic reduces its strong aroma and flavor, making it more acceptable and attractive to some people. The flavor of black garlic has been compared with a smoky, sweet dried fruit with a touch of salt. Black garlic does not have the same smell as white garlic which is, to many people, considered unpleasant.
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Lee, K.-C., Teng, C.-C., Shen, C.-H., Huang, W.-S., Lu, C.-C., Kuo, H.-C., & Tung, S.-Y. (2018). Protective effect of black garlic extracts on tert-Butyl hydroperoxide-induced injury in hepatocytes via a c-Jun N-terminal kinase-dependent mechanism. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 15(3), 2468–2474.
Sun, Y.-E., & Wang, W. (2018). Changes in nutritional and bio-functional compounds and antioxidant capacity during black garlic processing. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 55(2), 479–488.
Garlic and Cancer Prevention. National Cancer Institute