Development of Green Garlic as a New Vegetable
Garlic is widely used in many cooking applications in the US and worldwide. We have developed Green Garlic as a new vegetable crop which grows and looks like a scallion, but is actually a garlic, with a mild garlic level that can be eaten raw, and used as fresh greens in salads, soups and many different dishes. As a new vegetable Green Garlic was developed as the outcome of good old fashioned botany and careful plant varietal selection. Dr. Albert Kausch is the inventor or co-inventor on several patents both issued and pending on Green Garlic as a new vegetable.
The plants are more slender than their scallion relatives. They also have a whitish bulb at the base of the green plant instead of the familiar garlic cloves of a mature plant, and they taste like garlic. Also, they have flat rather than the tubular leaves of a scallion. So the plants resemble a scallion or green onion except that they are actually a garlic (hardneck garlic Allium sativuum cv ophioscorondon) plant and would be used similarly to that of a scallion or green onion where the entire plant can be chopped and used in a wide variety of applications. Green Garlic is one quarter the strength of clove garlic. This means that the plant can be consumed raw without objection and allows the plant to be used in new applications as additions to fresh salad mixes, sauces, etc. But perhaps more importantly, as a raw vegetable it retains the nutritive benefits that are destroyed on cooking clove garlic. Green Garlic provides a fresh source of dietary thiosulfinates, which confer the therapeutic properties of garlic (heart healthy) and antimicrobial attributes. Green Garlic may inhibit microbes involved in food borne diseases.
Worldwide production of clove garlic is nearly 10 million tonnes on nearly a million hectares and it is used widely as a spice, condiment, and as a vegetable. We do not expect that Green Garlic would compete with the clove market but present a new opportunity. Rather, the opportunity to develop Green Garlic as a fresh green vegetable with new applications and benefits will accompany and augment the present clove garlic market. The green onion (scallion) market is about $1.6 billion US and while a different crop, we expect that eventually Green Garlic could be comparable.
The idea of being able to use a mild garlic plant as a fresh green vegetable has been very well received. Wherever we have taste tested this product, at Cooking Shows, Restaurants and Culinary Institutes the response has always been overwhelmingly enthusiastic! Green Garlic as a new vegetable will find wide application in many foods and food products, including fresh Salad Mixes, Soups, Italian foods, such as sauces, pasta, pizza, and pesto, Mexican dishes, Chinese foods, Indian cuisine and many others were traditional garlic is used. We think that anyone who has tasted this new vegetable product will remember this when they see it in the stores and will enjoy it and talk about it when it becomes commercially available. The scope of the future research and product development on this project will deliver a new product that is in the public interest to the American consumer, if not internationally with a new vegetable called Green Garlic.
Dr. Kausch currently is conducting research on new varietal development, garlic biology, analysis of thiosulfinate levels and biochemistry, and the antimicrobial and chemoprotective properties of allicin.