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Dehydrated GarlicDehydrated Garlic

April 1, 2000

5 Min Read
Dehydrated Garlic

Food Product Design

Dehydrated Garlic
April 2000 -- Spice Rack  History tells us that people have been fond of garlic for more than 5,000 years. Herodotus noted, for example, that the diets of laborers on the Great Pyramids at Giza (3733 B.C.) consisted largely of onions and garlic. The ancient Egyptians actually worshipped garlic as a god. The Roman physician Pliny recommended it for ailments ranging from toothaches and coughs to the bite of the shred mouse. Homer discussed it in the Odyssey, and countless writers and poets through the ages have sung its praises. It is said that chewing a clove of garlic helps cure colds and coughs, and recent claims have been made that garlic helps lower cholesterol levels.  The first garlic in the United States was grown around New Orleans by French settlers for their own cooking needs. It was brought westward to California by missionaries, and found an ideal environment in the fertile soil and mild weather there. Today, California accounts for approximately 90% of the garlic grown in the United States. Seed garlic is also grown in the high deserts of Oregon and Nevada.  Garlic is known botanically as Allium sativum L. This annual plant develops a bulb and a strong root foundation, with many spear-like leaves growing from the base of the bulb. As the bulb matures, the leaves create a protective outer layer surrounding each garlic clove. Collectively, several layers protect the entire bulb from damage and moisture loss.  Traditionally, garlic has been grown from individual cloves. Recently, however, particularly fertile garlic varieties have been found, and a method to produce true garlic seed has been developed. Garlic breeding is still in its early stages though, and no new varieties have been developed thus far.Dehydrating garlic  Garlic's tremendous popularity led producers to establish it as one of the first dehydrated vegetable seasonings. Its character and the way it is normally used make it a natural for dehydration. In this form there are no storage problems, no peeling and chopping or pressing, and there is never any waste.  The garlic varieties predominantly used by domestic manufacturers of dehydrated garlic are either late garlic or early garlic. California late garlic matures in eight months, and is usually harvested in late July or August, while California early garlic requires a seven month growing period and is generally harvested in late May or June. Both are extremely well adapted to natural conditions in California, and give dehydrators an extended processing period.  The domestic garlic-dehydration industry takes meticulous measures to ensure an outstanding dried garlic product. The bulbs are first dried, and then carefully cracked to obtain individual cloves. Small cloves or slivers are discarded, as are damaged cloves. The garlic cloves are sliced and dried further, to a moisture level of less than 6.8%. During the dehydration process, a continuous conveyer belt passes the sliced garlic through various stages with a range of temperatures, air flows and retention times, depending on the garlic variety and its intended use.  After dehydration, the garlic slices are milled and separated to yield particle sizes ranging from powdered, granulated and ground to minced, chopped and sliced. Agglomerated powder is also available. Each particle size is developed to satisfy the requirements of various end uses. When flavor alone is important, the powdered or granulated forms are recommended. A small amount of an anti-caking agent, such as calcium stearate, is added to the powdered form to impart free-flowing properties. When texture and mouthfeel are desired, the minced, chopped or sliced forms are suggested.Using garlic  One pound of dehydrated garlic possesses flavor equivalent to that of five pounds of raw prepared garlic. Dehydrated garlic can be added directly to most foods or blended with salt, pepper and other seasonings. If added to a vinegar solution or to foods lacking enough water for rehydration, dehydrated garlic should first be rehydrated. To rehydrate powder or granulated garlic, add enough cool water to make a smooth paste. For minced and larger pieces, add enough water to cover, and allow the garlic to soak 10 and 20 minutes respectively.  The continuous growth of dehydrated garlic's popularity can be attributed to its consistent quality and flavor on a year-round basis, a favorable visual appearance, a desirable pungency, adaptability to all manufacturing purposes, and convenience for the consumer. In the new and more sophisticated prepared foods, dehydrated garlic provides a desirable characteristic flavor, and at low use levels it complements and enhances other seasoning ingredients.  Few seasonings have as broad an application range as garlic. Except for desserts and other sweet dishes, there's hardly a food that does not benefit from at least a pinch of garlic. Moreover, in certain sausages, cheeses, breads, sauces and snacks, garlic becomes so important that it characterizes the entire recipe.  Dehydrated garlic produced in the United States is packed in moisture-barrier containers to protect the contents against moisture pick-up. Bulk packs are usually supplied in fiber drums, bag-in-boxes or multi-wall bags. Smaller packs are available in numerous forms, including hermetically sealed tins, fiber cartons and glass jars. When storing dehydrated garlic, containers should be kept tightly sealed, and away from high temperatures. Optimum storage conditions are 28% to 32% humidity and 65°F. With proper storage conditions, dehydrated garlic can have a shelf life of up to two to three years.Spice Rack is based on the American Spice Trade Association's What You Should Know informational series on spices. For more information call 201-568-2163, or visit www.astaspice.org.
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CopyrightWeeks Publishing Co.3400 Dundee Rd. Suite #100
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847-559-0385
Fax: 847-559-0389
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.foodproductdesign.com

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