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Spain: Black garlic, an affordable alternative for the sector

The president of the Andalusian Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (Ifapa), Víctor Ortiz, presented the results of the Research and Development project for the production of black garlic in Cordoba.

Ortiz stressed the success of the initiative, both in the transfer of the required technology for the elaboration of said product, as well as in the good volume of exports reached by the first batches of black garlic recently commercialised in Andalusia.

The president of Ifapa stated "This product's development is providing a very interesting alternative, given the high prices black garlic can reach. It serves to diversify a sector that is suffering as a result of strong competition, in prices rather than quality, from Chinese garlic."

The project for the manufacture of black garlic, carried out during 2012 and 2013 through a Research and Development contract between Ifapa and the company "La Abuela Carmen", from Cordoba, concluded in June this year, with the implementation of the process in the aforementioned company, pioneer in Andalusia in the manufacture of this product.

Black garlic is a type of fermented garlic used as an ingredient in Asian cooking, and which is obtained through prolonged fermentation of whole garlic bulbs at high temperature and moisture conditions.

The flavour of black garlic is sweet, with a touch of balsamic vinegar, and has gained a great international projection after becoming an ingredient used in high cuisine. In the case of countries like the United States, where black garlic was introduced as a healthy product, it became appreciated due to its high content of antioxidants and is also used in the production of energy drinks. In Thailand it is in high demand, as it is said to prolong the consumers' lifetime.

As highlighted by Víctor Ortiz, "The analysis carried out by Ifapa confirm the high increase in antioxidant content during the manufacturing process, multiplying it by five compared to the normal antioxidant levels in fresh garlic." Another advantage of black garlic is that, because of its sweet flavour, similar to that of liquorice, it can be consumed uncooked and unseasoned. 


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