Product Intelligence


Similar Names
Allium sativum
Top Producer
South Africa
0406 Garlic
Top Exporter
070320 Garlic, fresh or chilled
Top Importer
070320 Garlic, fresh or chilled
Wholesale Prices
$ 2.33 per kg
Sep, 2019
May 6
Sep 16
Product Intelligence of Garlic

Grades of Garlic

What are the specifications of Garlic? (Grades, Sizes, Colors, etc..)
General Information

Definition of produce

This standard applies to garlic of varieties (cultivars) grown from Allium sativum L. to be supplied 1(fresh), 2(semi)-dry or 3(dry) to the consumer, garlic for processing being excluded. 


Garlic is classified into three classes defined below:

-(i) "Extra" Class: Garlic must be of better quality and characteristic of the variety and/or commercial type.

The bulbs must be:

- untouched

- normally shaped

- properly cleaned

They must have no defects with the exception of very slight superficial stains, taking into account this should not interfere with the general appearance of the produce, the quality, the keeping

quality and presentation in the package. The cloves must be tight. The roots must be cut close to the base of the bulb in the case of dry garlic. 

-(ii) Class I: Garlic in this class must be of acceptable quality. They must meet the characteristic of the variety and/or commercial type.

The bulbs must be:

- untouched

- normally shaped

Small flaws, however, may be allowed should these do not affect the general appearance of the produce, the quality, the conservation capacity and presentation in the package: slight tears in the outer skin of the bulb are accepted. The cloves must be reasonably tight within reason.

(iii) Class II: This class includes garlic that does not meet the standards for inclusion in the higher classes yet manage to satisfy the minimum requirements specified above. The following defects may be allowed as long as the garlic retains its essential characteristics when it comes to quality, the conservation capacity and presentation: 

-tears in the outer skin or missing parts of the outer skin of the bulb

-healed injuries

-slight bruises

-irregular shape

-up to three cloves missing

Provisions concerning size

Size class is determined by the maximum diameter of the equatorial section of the garlic:

(i) The minimum diameter is set at 45 mm for garlic in the "Extra" Class and 30 mm for garlic in Classes I and II.

(ii) If garlic is presented loose - without stems - or in bunches, the difference in diameter between the smallest and largest bulb in the same package may not exceed:

- 15 mm when the smallest bulb has a diameter of less than 40 mm.

- 20 mm when the smallest bulb has a diameter equal to or more than 40 mm.

Quality tolerances

(i) "Extra" Class: 5%  weight of bulbs not meeting the requirements of the class, but satisfying those of Class I or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances of that class.

(ii) Class I: 10 % weight of bulbs not satisfying the requirements of the class, but meeting those of Class II or, exceptionally, coming within the tolerances of that class. However, within this range, up to 1% weight of bulbs may have cloves with externally visible sprouts.

(iii) Class II: 10 % weight of bulbs may not be up to standards of the class nor the minimum requirements, with the exception of those affected by rotting or damaged by frost or sun, or any other deterioration rendering it unfit for consumption. In addition to this tolerance, up to 5% weight of bulbs may have cloves with externally visible sprouts. 

Size tolerances

For all classes: 10 % weight of bulbs not meeting the requirements regarding size and the size indicated, but matching the size immediately above and/or below that specified. Within this tolerance, up to 3 % of bulbs may have a diameter smaller than the specified minimum but not less than 25 mm. 

Provisions concerning presentation

UniformityThe contents of each package or lot presented in bulk, must be uniform and contain only garlic of the same origin, variety or commercial type, quality and size (if sized). The visible part of the garlic in the package or bulk must rightfully represent the rest of the content.

Packaging: Except for dry garlic presented in strings, which may be transported in bulk, garlic must be packed in such a way so as to protect

its integrity. The materials used inside the package must be new, clean and of a quality such as to avoid causing any external or internal damage to the produce. The use of materials, paper or stamps especially, with trade specifications printed is allowed as long as the printing or labeling has been done with non-toxic ink or glue. Packages, or lots presented in bulk, must be free of all foreign matter.


Garlic must be presented as follows:

(i) loose in the package, with cut stems, the length of the stem not to exceed:

- 10 cm in the case of fresh and semi-dry garlic,

- 3 cm in the case of dry garlic

(ii) in bunches by:

- number of bulbs,

- net weight

The stems must be evened off.

(iii) in the case of dry and semi-dry garlic only, in strings by:

- number of bulbs, there being at least six bulbs per string

- net weight.

In case it is presented in bunches or strings, each package must resemble one another (number of bulbs or net weight).

Neverminding the type of presentation, stems must be cut cleanly, as must the roots in case of dry garlic classified in the "Extra" class.

Provisions concerning marking

Each package must exhibit the following particulars, in letters grouped on the same side, legibly and indelibly marked, and visible from the outside.

For garlic in strings transported in bulk (loaded directly into a vehicle), these particulars must appear on a document accompanying the goods and attached in a visible position inside the transport vehicle.

A. Identification 

Packer) Name and address or and/or) officially issued or

Dispatcher) accepted code mark 

B. Nature of produce

- "Fresh garlic", "semi-dry garlic" or "dry garlic", when the contents are not visible from the outside

- Name of the variety or commercial type

- "Smoked", if applies.

C. Origin of produce

- Country of origin and, not mandatory, district where grown, or national, regional or local place name.

D. Commercial specifications

- Class

- Size (if sized) expressed as minimum and maximum diameters of the bulbs.

Explore Other Definitive Guides to Garlic

Everything you need to know about the basics, production, export, and import of Garlic.
Product Description
General Information

- Traces of the origin of Garlic were found in Turkestan (border between China and Afghanistan and Iran). From there, it was taken to China, India, eastern and northern Europe, and the Mediterranean to the west.

- The movements and excursions of nomadic hunters contributed to the dispersal of Garlic as a result of its qualities to conserve meat and fish, the small size for transportation and the ease of storage.

- It is a perennial plant of the Liliaceae family. They reach up to 1.5 m in height. Its leaves are flat up to 8 mm wide. Its flowers are greenish or whitish, sometimes pink, very little abundance and sometimes nonexistent, which protrude with its long peduncle on a head of bulbils. The bulb (head of garlic) is formed by a white envelope inside which are several small bulbs commonly named "teeth".

The plant generates a spicy bulb which is the part that is mainly used. This bulb is formed by a variable number of teeth, each covered by a tunic of variable color. The whole bulb is covered, simultaneously, by exterior tunics of a whitish color. In a bulb, which is roundly shaped, there can be between 8-14 teeth and its weight is between 30-100 g

- China is the main garlic producer. Shandong, an eastern coastal province, located to the southwest of Beijing is the main producing region followed by Henan and Jiangsu.

- In 2017 China´s yield reached approximately 271.000 hg/ha.

The most common species include 

Allium sativum (var. sativum)-White or artichoke-Violet-Silverskin.

Allium sativum (var. longicuspis)-Red or Rocambole-purple-pink.

Allium sativum (var. ophioscorodon)-Borwn or Continental.

Although garlic is fundamentally a condiment (and its demand responds to this aptitude), it is part of popular medicine of many countries of the world, having found records dating more than 6,000 years old.

- Modern science considers it with excellent properties (bacteriostatic,

fungistatic, lipid-lowering, antiplatelet, antioxidants), both for human use,

veterinary or agronomic.


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