Sparrow and Finch Gardening Do the geographical conditions of your home affect garlic taste and its health benefits

Do the geographical conditions of your home affect garlic taste and its health benefits

Garlic is mainly consumed as a spice or condiment that imparts aroma and flavor to many other dishes. And what ingredient gives garlic the fantastic smells and delicious flavors? Most importantly, the substances known as “organosulfur compounds” are kept in the bulb.

Different varieties of garlic have various quantities and kinds of these compounds, which results in garlic varieties with different flavors and scents.

Some examples of the genetic variety in the four Argentine Garlic cultivars. Garlic acquires its aroma and flavor from organosulfur compound, which may also provide beneficial health benefits. Credit: Pablo Cavagnaro

In addition to enhancing the flavor of food and beverages, folk medicine has also given a myriad of health benefits associated with garlic consumption since the beginning of time. They include treating heart diseases and their effectiveness in combatting parasites. It was in recent times that specific assertions were validated by research conducted in science. Some of them include blood thinners, antioxidant properties, and antihypertensive and anti-cancer effects.

Most of these health-enhancing properties are attributed, at a minimum, to the same type of organosulfur compounds responsible for the garlic’s flavor. Additionally, garlic is a source of phenolic compounds that may play a role in the antioxidant effects. Studies suggest that garlic with higher concentrations of these substances will provide more health benefits.

Like many other vegetables, one of the most notable characteristics of garlic is the capacity that the crop stores up after harvest, known as postharvest preservation. This lets packers and growers keep their garlic in storage until a better price is found in the market. This also gives them an extended shelf-life at the supermarket, with less growth of the bulbs, as well as dehydration or softening.

Drs. Karina Barboza and Cecilia Salinas, who are the study’s principal researchers, plant garlic within Lujan de Cuyo, Mendoza, one of the places studied for their garlic taste, its health benefits, and postharvest preservation. Credit: Pablo Cavagnaro

Garlic cultivars are diverse in the length they expect to see of the postharvest preservation. Research has proven that garlic and other bulbous vegetables, such as onion, have better postharvest protection as the amount of water in their bulbs dipped. Therefore, if the bulbs contain more solids (and smaller amounts of water) when harvested, their postharvest performance is more efficient. Because the total solids content is straightforward to gauge, this feature is frequently used to determine the quality of the garlic after harvest and onions.

Garlic cultivars differ genetically in their capacity to absorb these chemicals that impact the flavor, health benefits, and postharvest preservation that garlic plants provide. Our team tested growing locations and environmental conditions to determine how they affected these characteristics.

In our research project, over two years, we planted twelve Argentine garlic cultivars across four areas of Mendoza, Argentina. It is the most critical area for the production of garlic in Argentina. The sizes vary in terms of climate and soil properties. After we had harvested the garlic at each site, We analyzed the garlic for total organosulfur and phenolics as well as solids content as indicators of their quality of flavor, health-related characteristics, and the quality of their postharvest products.

Examples of the phenotypic diversity in four Argentine garlic cultivars. Garlic gets its flavor and aroma from organosulfur compounds, which can also have health benefits. Credit: Pablo Cavagnaro

We observed that across all the cultivars and locations, the amount of organosulfur compounds found in garlic bulbs varied by more than fourfold. A large portion of the variation was due to the plant’s location and interaction between cultivars and the sites. The remaining 30-40% variation was due to genetic differences among cultivars.

These results show that conditions of the growing environment, as well as interactions between locations and cultivars, are more significant than the cultivar’s flavor development and health-related attributes that are influenced by the levels of organosulfur compounds. Incredibly, we observed substantial variations among Lujan de Cuyo and Santa Rosa. Lujan de Cuyo has colder temperatures and soils with higher organic matter and lower salinity. Santa Rosa has higher temperatures and common organic matter, and the ground has high salinity. This implies that Santa Rosa is the Santa Rosa location that is recommended to produce garlic that is sour and has significant nutritional value. Lujan de Cuyo can be utilized to create garlic with a moderate flavor.

Similar results were also observed for the concentration of phenolics. The results suggest that to create garlic with a high level of phenolics and antioxidant capacity, choosing the most optimal location with particular cultivars is more important than the cultivar itself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts