The quality of garlic is mainly measured by the following aspects:
Should not have visible damage, no clovers should be missing, they should all be normally shaped and all of them should be clean. Size is also important to determine the class of Garlic.
-(i) "Extra" Class: Garlic must be of better quality and characteristic of the variety and/or commercial type.
The bulbs must be:
- 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:
- 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
-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.
- 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.