Garlic paste turning green is a natural chemical reaction that occurs when garlic is exposed to acidic or alkaline substances. It is safe to eat and does not affect the flavor or quality of the garlic. However, if the garlic has a foul smell or taste, it may be a sign of spoilage and should be discarded.
I. Garlic Paste Turns Green: 5 Reasons Why Is It Safe?
Garlic paste turning green can be a common occurrence and may be a cause for concern for some people. However, in most cases, green garlic paste is safe to eat. Here are 5 reasons why garlic paste turns green and why it is safe to consume:
Natural enzymatic reaction: When garlic is crushed or chopped, an enzymatic reaction occurs that produces a compound called alliinase. Alliinase is responsible for converting the sulfur-containing compounds in garlic into allicin, which gives garlic its characteristic aroma and flavor. This enzymatic reaction can cause garlic to turn green, especially when it is exposed to acidic ingredients.
Copper content: Garlic paste that is made in a copper bowl or utensil can turn green due to the presence of copper ions. Copper ions can react with sulfur-containing compounds in garlic to form copper sulfide, which is responsible for the green color.
Acidic ingredients: Garlic paste that contains acidic ingredients such as lemon juice or vinegar can turn green due to the acid reacting with the sulfur-containing compounds in garlic.
Age: Garlic paste that has been stored for a long time can turn green due to the breakdown of the sulfur-containing compounds in garlic.
Heat exposure: Garlic paste that is exposed to heat can turn green due to the breakdown of the sulfur-containing compounds in garlic.
In most cases, green garlic paste is safe to eat. The green color is due to a harmless chemical reaction and does not indicate spoilage or contamination. However, if the garlic paste has an off odor or taste, or if there are signs of mold growth, it is best to discard it.
Related: Ginger Garlic Paste Turned Blue
II. Garlic Paste Turns Green: 5 Reasons Why Is It Unsafe?
Garlic paste turning green can be a sign of potential safety concerns. Here are five reasons why garlic paste may turn green and why it may be unsafe:
Copper content: Garlic contains natural compounds that can react with copper, which may cause the garlic paste to turn green. If your cookware, utensils, or food processor blades contain copper, this can also cause the garlic to react and turn green. Consuming too much copper can be toxic to the body.
Acid content: Garlic paste contains natural acids that can cause a chemical reaction when exposed to air, especially when it’s stored for an extended period of time. This reaction can result in a greenish color, which can be a sign of bacterial growth.
Mold growth: If garlic is not properly stored, it can become moldy and develop a greenish hue. Consuming moldy garlic can lead to digestive issues and other health problems.
Spoilage: If garlic paste has been stored for too long, it may spoil and develop a greenish color. Consuming spoiled garlic paste can cause food poisoning and other health problems.
Nitrogen content: Garlic contains natural compounds that are high in nitrogen. When garlic is crushed or mashed, these nitrogen compounds can react with other compounds in the garlic, causing it to turn green. Consuming garlic paste with high levels of nitrogen can be toxic to the body.
In general, if your garlic paste has turned green, it’s best to discard it and make a fresh batch. Eating garlic paste that has turned green can potentially cause health problems, so it’s important to take precautions and ensure that your garlic paste is properly stored and prepared.
III. How To Stop Garlic From Turning Green: 4 Ways
Below are some tips to stop the garlic from turning green.
1. Avoid Using Garlic with Acid
When you are cooking with garlic, it is best to use fresh garlic instead of the pre-minced stuff that you can buy at the store. This is because the pre-minced garlic has a high chance of going bad quickly.
If you are using fresh garlic, you can usually keep it in the fridge for about a week. However, if you are using pre-minced garlic, it is best to keep it in the fridge and use it within a few days.
Garlic that turned green is due to garlic age. The older garlic builds up to larger quantities of chemical material than the fresh garlic.
If you want to stop the coloration altogether, use fresh garlic instead of old garlic or the garlic you stored, and keep the garlic in the fridge until you cook it.
2. Cook Onion and Garlic Separately
Do not blend or chop the garlic with the raw onion because it contains the properties that can turn the garlic green. First cook the onion then add garlic to it.
But if you cook garlic alone, then cook it at a high flame and don’t mix it with any acidic substance until it is fully cooked.
3. Keep It Refrigerated
Also, keep the garlic cold, because at low temperatures, garlic will be safe, but at high temperatures, the reactions speed up and change the coloration.
4. Try Dry Ginger And Garlic
In the preparation of ginger garlic paste always try to use the dry ginger garlic paste because it will reduce the bacterial growth and hence ginger garlic paste will not turn green.