Lacto-Fermented Garlic: Microbial Diversity, Texture, and Aroma Traits

Jenn Hoskins
2nd June, 2024

Lacto-Fermented Garlic: Microbial Diversity, Texture, and Aroma Traits

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study analyzed lacto-fermented garlic from small-scale producers in Lower Silesia, Poland
  • Researchers identified 86 different compounds in the garlic, contributing to its flavor, aroma, and health benefits
  • High counts of beneficial lactic acid bacteria were found, which help preserve the garlic and enhance its flavor
Garlic has long been celebrated for its health benefits, including its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. A recent study by researchers at Università Politecnica delle Marche has provided a comprehensive analysis of lacto-fermented garlic produced by small-scale artisanal producers in the Lower Silesia Region of Poland[1]. This study offers a detailed look at the nutritional and microbial characteristics of lacto-fermented garlic, shedding light on its potential health benefits and culinary uses. The researchers identified 86 different compounds in the lacto-fermented garlic using headspace solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC/MS). These compounds span various chemical classes, including sulfur compounds, esters, acetates, oxygenated monoterpenes, monoterpene hydrocarbons, and alcohols. Additionally, the presence of aldehydes, acids, ketones, furans, and phenols was noted. These compounds contribute to the garlic's flavor, aroma, and potential health benefits. One of the key findings of the study was the high counts of lactic acid bacteria, reaching up to 8 log cfu g-1. Metataxonomic analysis revealed a diverse range of lactic acid bacteria, including Levilactobacillus, Lactiplantibacillus, Latilactobacillus, Secundilactobacillus, Weissella, Leuconostoc, Lactococcus, Pediococcus, and Lacticaseibacillus. The presence of these bacteria was confirmed through isolation and characterization methods. Notably, the species observed included Lacticaseibacillus casei group, Pediococcus parvulus, Levilactobacillus brevis, Levilactobacillus parabrevis, and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum group. The study also highlighted the good acidification performance of these isolates in a salty garlic-based medium, with pH values dropping to between 4 and 3.5 within 8 to 15 days of fermentation. This acidification is crucial for preserving the garlic and enhancing its flavor. Interestingly, 15 out of the 37 lactic acid bacteria isolates showed the presence of the hdcA gene, which encodes for histidine decarboxylase. This enzyme is involved in the production of histamine, a compound that can have various physiological effects. Additionally, 8 out of the 37 isolates were observed to produce exopolysaccharides in vitro, which are beneficial for gut health. The study's findings align with earlier research on the health benefits of garlic. For instance, a previous study examined the influence of processing methods on the organosulfur compounds in pickled garlic, noting that fermentation and packing steps generally reduced these compounds, except for S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC), which increased during storage[2]. The current study's focus on lacto-fermented garlic adds to this body of knowledge by providing a detailed analysis of the microbial and chemical composition of the garlic. Another relevant study explored the antioxidant activities of fresh and pickled garlic, finding that pickled garlic exhibited significantly higher antioxidant activities compared to fresh garlic[3]. The current study's identification of various bioactive compounds in lacto-fermented garlic supports these findings, suggesting that lacto-fermentation may enhance the garlic's antioxidant properties. Overall, the research conducted by Università Politecnica delle Marche offers valuable insights into the nutritional and microbial characteristics of lacto-fermented garlic. The high counts of beneficial lactic acid bacteria, diverse range of bioactive compounds, and good acidification performance highlight the potential health benefits and culinary applications of lacto-fermented garlic. This study not only builds on previous research but also provides a foundation for future studies on the health benefits and preservation methods of fermented garlic products.

NutritionBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Lacto-fermented garlic handcrafted in the Lower Silesia Region (Poland): Microbial diversity, morpho-textural traits, and volatile compounds.

Published 1st June, 2024

Related Studies

2) Effect of processing and storage time on the contents of organosulfur compounds in pickled blanched garlic.

3) The antioxidant and anti-cadmium toxicity properties of garlic extracts.

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