Why Does Garlic Turn Green In Vinegar?

Garlic is typically creamy white, but if exposed to an acidic environment, it can turn blue or green.

If garlic is exposed for a prolonged period of time to any acidic element, such as vinegar or lemon juice, it may become blue or green.

The molecules of the garlic cloves are reorganized by the acidity. This produces polypyrroles, chemicals that provide the green or blue color to garlic cloves.

This response does not always happen immediately. It might not happen for several hours. Garlic cloves as a whole may also change color, but smaller portions are more likely to do so.

Is eating green-colored garlic safe?

The garlic I used to prepare a pork roast in the slow cooker turned green while it cooked. Can you still eat it? How would you interpret this occurrence?

Green garlic after cooking…

Not to worry. Green-colored garlic is entirely harmless. The color is most likely the consequence of an interaction between sulfur compounds and the amino acids, which are present in garlic naturally and serve as the building blocks of protein. These substances interact during particular cooking processes (with the help of enzymes) to create new molecules that give the garlic a green hue. It is strange but unharmful.

How can pickled garlic be prevented from becoming green?

To ensure you have plenty of gourmet garlic to savor till the next crop, pickling is yet another effective method of preservation. Because it blends so well with so many different flavors, garlic is a vegetable that can be pickled in a variety of ways. Additionally, processing it is just as simple and uncomplicated as processing any other vegetable.

Pickling Garlic

As a high-acid product, garlic pickles can be safely preserved and kept for a long time using the water-bath canning method. It’s customary to separate the garlic bulbs into individual cloves and peel them before pickling them, but I’ve also seen some extremely creative whole-bulb pickles. The flavor of your pickling solution will be able to penetrate the garlic more effectively with smaller-cloved kinds, even though they take longer to peel than bigger cloves.

A wide range of herbs and spices, from the traditional mustard seed, bay leaves, and cloves to the more exotic curry and soy sauce, can be used to flavor pickled garlic. Peppers and pearl onions are two very well-liked vegetable additions that go incredibly well with garlic. Fresh gourmet garlic, hot peppers, and green tomatoes are a favorite of ours; they make a delectable snack when coupled with a refreshing beer after a long day of gardening!

Cooking with Pickled Garlic

Pickled garlic can be relished in a variety of meals in addition to being eaten straight out of the jar. It can be eaten on its own or as part of an antipasto plate, as well as added to sauces, slaws, and salads. It also makes a unique and intriguing present that is both useful and aesthetically pleasing, especially if you include a combination of vegetables in vibrant colors.

But keep in mind that when you pickle garlic, the flavor and texture of the cloves may alter. The flavor will still be strongly garlicky, but it will mellow and become slightly sweeter. When incorporating sugar into the pickling process, bear this alteration in mind. The cloves frequently get creamier and softer as well. If you like a crisper texture, line the bottom of each jar with a grape leaf or add alum to your pickling solution.

The medicinal advantages of consuming fresh garlic will likewise be greatly diminished by the pickled procedure. In extremely acidic settings, such as pickling liquid, alliinase, an enzyme required for the formation of allicin (seen as one of the key beneficial chemicals), is inactivated. Allicin cannot be produced if the alliinase is neutralized.

What Causes Blue Garlic?

You may have noticed that pickled garlic occasionally appears blue or green in color. There are steps you may do to help prevent blue garlic, which can happen for numerous reasons.

Garlic’s cell membranes are ruptured when vinegar or another acid is added, allowing the amino acids and sulfur compounds it contains to mingle. Following that, isoallin, an enzyme, is released. The amino acids and isoallin interact to form the blue pigments known as anthocyanins. These pigments are naturally present in garlic, and cell damage makes more of them visible by causing an increase in their concentration.

Depending on the variety of garlic and the soil it was grown in, garlic may also seem blue. Because some garlic cultivars have higher concentrations of anthocyanins than others, some varieties naturally have more color. These pigments can also be enhanced by acidic soil conditions, giving the garlic a bluish-green colour even before you start the pickling process. The question of whether mature or immature garlic colors more easily is still up for dispute.

Finally, the color of your pickling solution may also be impacted by the presence of metal traces in the water. For instance, copper will react with the sulfur molecules in garlic to form copper sulfate, which has a blue hue. Metal implements used in the pickling process, such as aluminum, cast iron, and tin, can also impart a blue-green hue.

Use distilled water to verify the absence of trace metals to help prevent discolouration. Since iodine also affects color, use a salt without iodine instead of table salt, such as Kosher. Finally, garlic needs to be stored out of direct sunlight, much like most pickles. Garlic will turn green as a result of chlorophyll being produced in response to sunlight.

Occasionally, regardless of your efforts, your garlic will turn blue, but this is nothing to be concerned about. The garlic is completely safe to eat and will keep its flavor. In fact, pickled garlic is encouraged in some regions of northern China to turn as blue as possible in order to produce Laba pickles, a garlicky treat enjoyed during the New Year!

Gourmet garlic specialist Andrea Cross resides in British Columbia. She experiments with small-scale aquaponics, home distilling, and goat husbandry on her property. Read every MOTHER EARTH NEWS article by Andrea here.

Every blogger in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS community has agreed to abide by our Blogging Guidelines, and they are in charge of the veracity of their writings.

What happens when you mix vinegar and garlic?

Garlic may be preserved in apple cider vinegar in just a few simple steps.

  • Take 5 or 6 garlic bulbs from your garden, which will provide enough garlic cloves to fill a pint-sized jar.
  • Peel each clove after removing it from the bulbs.
  • When preparing garlic for preservation, you should leave it whole and not cut or crush it in order to keep all of its health advantages. Allicin, a substance in garlic that is responsible for its health advantages, is produced when the clove is crushed or split open. If possible, keep the clove whole until it is consumed.
  • The whole, peeled cloves should be put in pint or quart canning jars. (Alternatively, you can use any glass jar with a lid that can be closed, such a jar for mayonnaise or peanut butter.) 1 inch should be left at the top.
  • Cover the cloves with apple cider vinegar.
  • Although a less expensive, generic apple cider vinegar will still work, raw, organic apple cider vinegar is preferred. To alter the flavor, you can choose to try adding some honey or other herbs and spices.
  • When the 1 to 2 weeks are up, seal the cover and move the garlic to a cellar or other cold storage. To relieve any pressure that has built up in the jars over the first several days, you might need to “burp the lids” a few times.

Over the course of the first few days, a chemical reaction between the garlic and vinegar causes the cloves to turn green. This is a typical step in the procedure. The cloves will eventually return to their original color.

Why does pickled garlic become a different color?

I recently received a jar of home-made pickled cauliflower with garlic cloves from my daughter. The top garlic has a blue tint to it. If it’s only a chemical reaction, is this still safe to eat?

A: The chemical reaction between the sulfur compounds in garlic and the minute amounts of copper present in water causes garlic to frequently turn color.

Garlic will also change color when exposed to an acid, such as the vinegar used in pickling, if it is harvested before it is fully grown and not thoroughly dried.

When using iodized table salt instead of kosher salt or pickling salt, garlic may also turn blue or green.

Can pickled garlic cause botulism?

The bacteria that causes botulism develops an incredibly strong toxin as it grows. Within a few days of consuming the poisonous meal, death may occur if left untreated. To ensure that your preserved garlic is secure, it is crucial that you carefully adhere to the instructions in this document.


Garlic that has been spoiled develops brown patches on the cloves, changing their natural white appearance to one that is more yellow or brown. The green roots that are growing in the clove’s heart are another thing. They are developing shoots. Despite being harmless, these roots have a very bitter taste, therefore they should be removed before cooking.


Garlic has a distinct aroma that is well-known worldwide and is spicy, aromatic, and mellow. It’s likely that your garlic has gone bad if it starts to lose its distinctive scent or takes on a sour aroma. To prevent contaminating your other bulbs, it is better to get rid of that garlic bulb.

When garlic turns blue Can I eat this?

They believe that the enzymes in garlic that give it its distinctive flavor degrade over time. These enzymes interact with the naturally present sulfur in the garlic, occasionally turning it a faint shade of green or blue. The color shift occurs occasionally, but it also doesn’t. Heat treatment or acid mixing may have some impact due to changes in temperature, pH, and the age of the garlic.

Consequently, blue garlic is a problem that extends beyond pickling. Anytime you sauté garlic or onions in a high-acid solution before using lemon juice to deglaze the pan, this problem could arise. Additionally, overly lengthy storage of garlic may result in it.

Using fresh garlic is your best bet if you want to prevent the smurf hue, according to LaBorde. It appears that older garlic colors more frequently. In fact, garlic is aged for several months to intensify the pigment in China, where a pickled garlic variety known as Laba is treasured for its green and blue hue.

Blanching is another option recommended by LaBorde. “Try placing them in hot water for a brief amount of time, which can slow down or inactivate the enzymes,” she advises.

The good news is that neither the flavor nor safety of the garlic are impacted by its color. Nothing implies that the food’s flavor or taste is impacted by its hue, according to LaBorde. “Simply put, you are rearrange some molecules in the garlic. Even if it’s blue, it ought to be fine.”

Is sour garlic healthy for you?

In spite of its small size, garlic is packed with nutrients, including B vitamins and antioxidants that fight cancer and have a host of other health advantages. But it might conflict with some medicines.

Garlic consumption may provide the following health advantages, according to research:

Garlic may help the body’s immune response, according to some studies, but further research is required. A daily garlic supplement reduced colds by 63% compared to a placebo in a 12-week human study.

Another study discovered that taking aged garlic extract in high quantities (2.56 grams daily) decreased the number of ill days due to the common cold or flu by 61%.

A third study concluded that there was inadequate evidence and that further information was required.

Garlic can significantly lower blood pressure in persons with hypertension, or high blood pressure, according to numerous human studies.

In fact, one study discovered that taking 600 to 1,500 mg of aged garlic extract daily for 24 weeks reduced blood pressure just as well as the blood pressure medicine Atenolol.

To see these advantages, you need to consume a lot of garlic each day—about four cloves.

LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels can both be reduced by eating garlic.

According to research, consuming supplements containing garlic can lower LDL and total cholesterol by 10% to 15% in patients with high cholesterol levels.

Garlic does not seem to have any impact on triglycerides or HDL (the good cholesterol). Heart disease is recognized to be at risk due to high triglyceride levels.

When consumed in high levels, the sulfur components in garlic have been discovered to help prevent organ damage from heavy-metal toxicity.

Garlic consumption decreased blood lead levels by 19%, according to a research that followed workers at a car battery factory for four weeks while they were exposed to high amounts of lead at work. Additionally, it lessened poisoning symptoms like headaches and high blood pressure.

The workers consumed three dosages of garlic daily, which ultimately proved more effective at alleviating symptoms than the medication D-penicillamine.

Should pickled garlic be stored in the fridge?

  • In a big pot, mix vinegar and canning salt. Boiling, then reducing heat and simmering for 10 minutes (180 degrees). In the meantime, distribute garlic into 4 sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace between each jar (approximately 8 ounces). Each jar should contain 1 head of dill and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. (If using fresh dill, fill each jar with 1/2 cup.)
  • Divide the hot pickling liquid among the 4 jars with a ladle, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Take out any air bubbles, clean the jar rims, position the lids on the jars, and tighten the band with a fingertip.
  • Refrigerate the food until it is ready to be pickled (I recommend at least 3 weeks in the refrigerator). Refrigerate for up to 4 months (see comments) or put in jars and seal them as directed below (the pickled garlic must still be refrigerated; it will not be shelf-stable).

How long will vinegar keep garlic fresh?

Take a bottle of white or red wine vinegar and add either whole or chopped garlic to make garlic vinegar. As long as the garlic is completely soaked in the vinegar, use as much as you like.

Use both the vinegar and the garlic in salad dressings or any meal that calls for both vinegar and garlic. Store your garlic vinegar in the refrigerator.

When kept in the refrigerator, garlic vinegar lasts for about four months. If mold appears, throw the mixture away.