Garlic: A Superfood for Health and the Immune System - Ted's Q&A

Browse Ted's Q&A

Pickled or Jarred Garlic Ok?

Posted by Debby (Tampa, Florida) on 03/20/2007

I've been a garlic fan for a long time and testify to it's healing benefits. I even did a public speaking assignment on it in college. I'd like to comment on the statement made earlier that garlic should NOT be cooked, heated, etc. When garlic is crushed alliin and allinase combine to form allicin. It needs to be crushed for this to take place. I read that if you are going to use it for cooking, that it should be chopped or crushed at least 10 minutes prior to cooking so that the allicin has time to be released. I also read that heat will destroy some of this. So I leave with a question. What about pickled or jarred whole garlic cloves? Since they are not crushed yet, has the heat from the canning process destroyed all of the good stuff?? Please help, as I have been trying to find an answer to this for a long time. Thanks.

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
391 posts

Debby: Actually the allicin is also formed when you eat them when the chewing on fresh garlic is in many instances done without the need to be chopped. If left outside long enough the allicin is destroyed.

Basically neither pickling, nor thawing can store garlic. The vinegar for examples is a strong penetrant and can go through the cells in the garlic to form allicin also, but the problem is once they are formed, it may be also destroyed or lost in the vinegar. Vinegar goes through the cells allowing the mix, much like chopping and storing for a long time, and there may be less allicin in a pickled form.

Keeping them in its original form is often the best ways of storing them. Drying garlic may help, but sulfides are lost as it is dehydrated. The simplest way is to keep them the way your grandmother stores garlic - do nothing with it until it is ready to be consumed.

Replied by Mike
New York

I have been reading a lot on the web regarding garlic labeled a poison. I eat it raw for its supposed anti-fungal properties and would appreciate some clarification.

Replied by Wendy
Columbus, Oh/usa

Garlic is NOT poisonous to humans! The thing to remember is that pets should not eat garlic, as well as other foods. There are many links on the internet that list the foods & plants that are toxic to pets. Here's one: