Why Does Garlic Turn Purple, and Can You Still Eat It?

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A garlic clove is a vegetable that can provide a terrific taste to any savory meal but may also overpower it if used in excess. Garlic may also be difficult on the stomach, particularly for people with delicate digestive systems, since it reacts strongly with stomach acids and acids in general. Its hue may also alter based on the acidity of its surroundings. So, what causes garlic to become purple?

Garlic becomes purple when it reacts with acidic or metallic chemicals. When the allicin in garlic combines with the amino acids in the acidic environment formed by the utilized acid or metal, it forms pyrroles, which affect the color of the garlic. Naturally, purple garlic exists.

Because you are generally accustomed to seeing your garlic white, and it takes a significant amount of pyrrole to build for it to become purple, you may suspect that something is wrong with it. Because throwing away such a natural resource as garlic is, you must have the proper knowledge to choose whether to use or discard your purple garlic. As a result, in the following sections, I will explain why garlic becomes purple, if it is safe to eat, how to tell if it has gone bad, and whether purple garlic is better than white garlic.

Why Does Garlic Turn Purple?

When you chop, crush, bend, or shred garlic, the principal component released is allicin.Allicin is responsible for garlic’s intense garlicky smell and taste, as well as making it so recognized and tasty. Because allicin imparts taste to garlic, it begins to smell strongly when sliced or cooked, although it has a subtle aroma when raw.

Allicin, a garlic component, is produced when the garlic is exposed to an acidic environment (lemon juice or vinegar) or a metal such as iron, steel, or copper. Expect some purple to develop if your utensils are made of such materials and you intend on acidifying your garlic.

The allicin component combines with the amino acids to form pyrroles, which cause the garlic to color purple. The intensity of the newly formed purple hue varies and is highly dependant on the amount of pyrroles produced in the garlic.

Sometimes the purple hue is hardly visible and just on the edges of the garlic, while other times it is quite intense. The quantity of pyrroles produced in garlic is determined by the amount of allicin released, and the amount of allicin is determined by the external stimulus applied to the garlic.

In other words, the longer the garlic comes in touch with the knife or grater, the more purple it will get. Furthermore, the more acid you apply, the more allicin you will get. That is why, the sourer the garlic, the more strong its scent, the more allicin is released.

Is Garlic Still Good When It Turns Purple?

Many people equate purple garlic with ruined or damaged garlic, which is not true.The chemical reaction that occurs in garlic as a result of allicin release and the subsequent formation of pyrroles has nothing to do with the garlic’s quality, since it is totally safe to consume.

The response caused by interaction with an acidic environment affects the garlic’s appearance rather than its edibility. Some people equate purple with rotten food, yet purple garlic does not mean rotting garlic.

However, the strength of the taste will shift as the garlic acidifies, becoming even more pungent and powerful, with a subtle acidic tang that may further mislead you as to whether it is edible or not.

However, regardless of the changes in look, flavor, and perfume, the garlic will still be safe to consume and cook with.

How to Tell If Garlic Cloves Have Gone Bad?

It’s a pity when garlic cloves go bad and have to be thrown away, but happily, they tend to display some obvious indicators of decomposition, so you won’t risk eating tainted meals.

Eating bad garlic may have serious implications for your stomach, and it can also transmit the spoilage to the dish you combine it with. So, if you put rotting garlic in a salad and then remove it, the salad will not be salvageable.

If your garlic has gone bad, you will notice visible, tactile, and olfactory cues. I’m not going to talk about flavor since you won’t be eating garlic that looks and smells disgusting.

Spoiled garlic stinks, particularly when peeled, and if the spoiling has progressed far enough, you don’t even have to peel it to smell it.

The color of the garlic will alter as well. In the early stages of spoiling, it will seem darker in some parts and discolored in others, but as the rotting progresses, the color will range from eggshell to light brown.

The texture of the garlic will also show indicators of deterioration, such as sliminess and excessive softness. If the garlic is farther along in the spilling process, you may poke it with your finger and it will immediately explode, revealing the mushy interior.

The odor is overpowering and reminiscent of rotting eggs. If you observe any of these signs, do not use your garlic; instead, discard it immediately since the danger is not worth it.

Is Purple Garlic Better Than White?

Purple garlic is often associated with rotten garlic, yet it is just as excellent as white garlic.Purple garlic does not have to be white garlic that has been dyed purple; there is a kind of garlic that is naturally purple.

As a result, purple garlic may be found in grocery shops. Purple garlic has a tougher stem, and the cloves do not grow as close together as white garlic. It’s purple on the exterior, but white on the inside.

White garlic has a more flexible stem and is softer and more flavorful than purple garlic. In any event, both purple and white garlic have a comparable form, taste, texture, usage, and scent, as well as that distinct pungent dimension.

Purple garlic also has larger cloves than white garlic, however many species of white garlic have the same size.

Purple garlic comes in three varieties: purple stripe garlic, striped marble garlic, and glazed purple garlic. It is sold in US retailers, however it is not manufactured there. Purple garlic is mostly grown in Mexico, Russia, China, Tasmania, Australia, Spain, and Italy.


Is purple garlic OK to eat?

Purple garlic may be used in the same way as white garlic is. Because it has a milder taste, it will not overpower a meal when used fresh (imagine chopped into a salad dressing or smeared on toasted bread). Purple garlic, according to some, retains its taste longer after cooking than white garlic.

Is it OK to eat discolored garlic?

Although you should avoid eating rotten or mushy garlic, sprouted cloves and even those with browned or yellowed areas may be utilized. Although their flavor may be somewhat off, removing the green sprout or clipping browned portions can make older cloves acceptable and keep them out of the garbage.

How can you tell if garlic has gone bad?

How to Spot Bad Garlic. In ideal health, garlic bulbs should have large, robust cloves securely wrapped in white or purple papery husks. If you detect shriveled cloves or burnt husks, or if the cloves are squishy when crushed, take a pass.

Is pink garlic safe to eat?

Its garlic cloves are juicy and crisp, yet less sticky than conventional garlic. Pink garlic, like typical white garlic, may be used raw or cooked and can be minced, crushed, or sliced as desired.

What color does garlic go bad?

Spoiled garlic develops brown patches on the cloves and changes color from white to yellow or brown. Another feature is the formation of green roots in the clove’s heart.

Is unripe garlic purple?

Garlic is often picked in the middle of summer, when the lowest portion of the stem becomes visible above ground and becomes brown. Green garlic, on the other hand, is taken in the spring before the plant matures, and the light-purple bulb looks like a green onion.

When should you throw out garlic?

If garlic loses its distinctive spicy, pungent aroma or starts to smell sour, it’s time to throw it out. When it comes to the feel, make sure it’s identical to what you’re looking for at the store—firm, with no too dry or soft cloves.

Can I eat oxidized garlic?

Don’t be concerned. Green garlic is perfectly safe to eat. The color is most likely the consequence of an interaction between sulphur compounds and amino acids (protein building blocks) found naturally in garlic.

Is it bad if garlic turns blue?

The good news is that the color of the garlic has no effect on its flavor or safety. “Nothing suggests that the color affects the taste or flavor of the food,” LaBorde explains. “All you’re doing is rearranging molecules inside the garlic.” It should be OK even if it’s blue.”

Why is some garlic purple?

Then you may wonder, “Why is my garlic purple?” This is because garlic contains anthocyanins, which are water-soluble pigments that may colour garlic cloves purple or blue when exposed to acid. This is a fluctuating phenomena that is more noticeable in young garlic.

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