In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “Why does garlic turn purple?” We will also discuss how to tell if purple garlic has gone bad and how to prevent garlic from turning purple.
Why does garlic turn purple?
Garlic turns purple when the sulfur-containing compounds in the garlic are exposed to an alkaline environment. This is because the compounds react with the alkaline environment to form a purple pigment called anthocyanin.
Anthocyanin is a type of flavonoid that is typically found in fruits and vegetables and is responsible for their bright colors. The formation of anthocyanin occurs when the sulfur-containing compounds are exposed to an alkaline environment, such as when garlic is cooked in a basic solution.
When the garlic is cooked in an acidic solution, the sulfur-containing compounds do not react with the solution and the garlic does not turn purple.
Can you eat garlic that has turned purple?
Yes, you can eat garlic that has turned purple. The purple color is harmless and does not indicate that the garlic has spoiled. In fact, it can still be used in cooking and has a slightly milder flavor than regular garlic.
It is important to note that while you can eat garlic that has turned purple, it is usually a sign that it is past its prime and will not have as strong a flavor as fresher garlic.
How can you tell if purple garlic has gone bad?
There are several signs to look for in order to tell if purple garlic has gone bad.
- Check the color of the garlic. Fresh purple garlic will have a bright, deep hue. If the garlic has turned gray or black, it has likely gone bad.
- Smell the garlic. Fresh garlic will have a pungent, slightly sweet smell. If the garlic smells sour, it has likely gone bad.
- Inspect the cloves. Fresh garlic will be firm to the touch, with no visible mold or discoloration. If the cloves are soft or shriveled, or if you see any signs of mold, discard the garlic.
- Feel the texture of the skin. Fresh garlic will have a smooth, dry texture. If the garlic is slimy or feels damp, it has likely gone bad.
- Look for any signs of sprouting. If you notice any green shoots growing out of the garlic, discard it immediately. If any of these signs are present, it is best to discard the garlic
How can you prevent garlic from turning purple?
- Start with fresh garlic. Look for garlic that has healthy, unbroken skin and is firm to the touch. Avoid garlic with brown, soft spots or other signs of decay.
- Store garlic in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. A pantry or cupboard is ideal. Avoid storing garlic in the refrigerator as this can cause it to turn blue or purple.
- Peel the garlic just before using it. The garlic will begin to discolor soon after it is peeled, so it is best to peel it as close to when it will be used as possible.
- Cut the garlic into small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the less time it will take for them to discolor.
- Heat the garlic immediately after cutting. This will help to prevent discoloration by inhibiting enzyme activity.
- Add an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, to the garlic while cooking. This will help to prevent discoloration.
- Use the garlic as soon as possible after cutting. The longer it sits before being used, the more likely it is to discolor.
In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “Why does garlic turn purple?” We have also discussed whether you can eat purple garlic and how to prevent garlic from turning purple.
Hope you find this blog useful, in case of any questions please let us know
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