Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Cross K, G. Volk and W. Lyons. 2004. Fresh garlic in the spring? Cold storage may be the answer. The Garlic Press 43:16.
Interpretive Summary: n/a
Technical Abstract: Most organic varietal garlic consumed in the U.S. is harvested in the later summer months. After the curing (drying) process, fresh garlic purchased by consumers is normally kept on a kitchen shelf at room temperature for several months. The quality of the bulbs, especially the hardnecks, often begins to deteriorate within 3 or 4 months of harvest. Cloves begin to sprout and lose firmness and desirable flavor. Thereafter, consumers have no available fresh market garlic until the next season. We observed the impacts on the culinary quality of garlic bulbs stored at several cold temperatures. Several varieties of hardneck and softneck garlic from the 2001 harvest were stored on 20 September 2001 in NCGRP's large commercial coolers at 0ºC and -3ºC. A pre-determined number of bulbs were removed from cold storage after 7, 8 and 9 months. They were subsequently kept in brown paper bags at ambient temperatures (20ºC to 30ºC) in three home kitchen environments. Overall, garlic bulbs stored at -3ºC for up to 8 months could be kept at room temperature for at least 2 months for culianary use without signs of deterioration. This could be an effective method of providing garlic-loving consumers with fresh garlic throughout the spring and summer months when garlic is normally still growing in the fields.