Reasons why garlic turns blue

Reasons why garlic turns blue

Harvesting preservation for the winter is a responsible occupation that requires certain skills and knowledge in the culinary field. Sometimes even following the instructions for salting vegetables, some problems may arise regarding the modification of garlic. The most common question that bothers people is why does the garlic turn blue?

  1. Description phenomenon
  2. Causes of blueing
  3. High concentration of copper
  4. Decay of enzymes
  5. Growing conditions
  6. Errors during preservation and storage
  7. Prevention <
  8. Classic marinade recipe
  9. Sequence
  10. The reasons for the unpleasant odor
  11. Conclusion

Чеснок синеет

Garlic turns blue

Problems with the pigmentation of vegetables interested the public yet in the 50s of the last century.After numerous studies, it was found that such a phenomenon does not pose a threat to human health.

Description of the phenomenon

Since ancient times, at mass collection of vegetables, it is customary to start salting them.This method allows you to store food for a long time, giving them their original taste. Skillful housewives are constantly experimenting with cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and other vegetables to achieve the most harmonious taste and preservation of the shape of the products.

Sometimes, canning causes problems that may seem strange or even frightening to an ordinary person. A product like garlic can turn blue.Finding answers to the question of why the garlic turns blue leads to a variety of information. Agronomists as well as biologists have their own point of view. Some assumptions are expressed by the cook. But who to believe? Why does one garlic turn blue in preservation, and the other does not?

Causes of blueing

In searching for an answer to the question of why garlic turns blue in marinade, one can stumble upon several basic theories, each of which is proved by scientists. The fact is that it is impossible to predict the color change of the product, since garlic turns blue for such reasons:

  • high concentration of copper in the product;
  • decay of enzymes contained in the vegetable;
  • vegetable growing conditions;
  • errors in the storage of the product and when preserving it.

According to numerous studies, scientists also found that the garlic turns blue independently from your grade. The product shows its peculiarity only at the time of preservation, that is, when it enters an acidic environment.

High copper concentration

If the garlic turns blue in the marinade, the reason for this may be due to the presence of copper in the composition of the product. This element belongs to alkali metals, which is why when it enters an acidic medium, it decays.

When in a jar of cucumbers or other vegetables, we see blue pigments on the cloves, this indicates dissolution of metal in the tissues of the product. But do not worry.The most actively released as a result of the reaction is only oxygen, which does not pose a threat to human health.

Decay of enzymes

Sometimes, when marinating and canning garlic, it turns blue. Such a phenomenon is not uncommon and has even a scientific explanation. In the middle of the last century, some enterprises for its processing suffered losses due to the write-off of blue products. Later, the study of the composition of the product showed that the fault is in the enzymes contained in the vegetable.

When interacting with vinegar, enzymes and essential oils are released from the tissues. Once in an acidic environment, these components react with it. Its result is:

  • the breakdown of oils into sulfates and sulfides;
  • pigmentation of vegetable tissues;
  • the release of thiol, ammonia and pyruvic acid.

So, scientists have established why garlic turns blue when canned. More often this phenomenon occurs due to damage to the product’s tissue.

Ошибки хранения приводят к посинению

Storage errors lead to blue

Growing conditions

Affects the manifestation of the blue tissue of the product in the pickles and the growing region. It is believed that the vegetable, which is grown in temperate and southern latitudes, has in its composition a large amount of the enzyme responsible for its color.Allyl sulfide, also known as allinin, is also found in the cloves of a vegetable grown in the north. But this enzyme in such a product is several times less.

So, if Chinese garlic turns blue, when preserved or pickled, this is also explained by the region of cultivation. If he began to change his appearance, then this indicates a high concentration of allyl sulfides – allinin. This phenomenon is manifested due to the territorial location of China. It is located south of our country.

Mistakes during preservation and storage

If the garlic has changed its appearance in the marinade, turned blue or green, this may indicate some culinary errors. Most often, such problems arise during the conservation of mushrooms. The fact is that these products are not compatible with each other during long-term storage. To avoid tooth pigmentation, it is better to add them to pickled mushrooms before serving.

Allinin is released actively in an acidic environment and at high temperatures.

Therefore, it is important choose the most suitable recipe so as not to spoil the look of the preparations prepared for the winter. In addition, young garlic is better for seaming. In it, allinin is many times less than that of the stale product.


Answers to the question why the garlic turns blue in the marinade are received. It remains only to figure out whether this can somehow be avoided.Experts are sure that there will be less blue vegetables in the preparations for the winter if:

  1. Preservation is correct. Garlic rolled up in a jar will not turn blue if the rolled vegetables are stored in a cool place.
  2. Harvesting will be done in a cold way. So, the appearance of the products will remain natural.
  3. Avoid mistakes when cleaning it. The more damage the knife inflicts, the more likely there are problems in the workpieces.

It is also important to choose only a young product for preservation. If the garlic turns blue, then this may indicate that it has been stored for a long time and has lost some of its qualities. In addition, it should be stored correctly. When cooking marinades, there will be no problems if the product is stored at room temperature – 18-22 ° C. The fact is that storing it in the refrigerator leads to the accumulation of allinin.

Правильно хранить чеснок

That’s right store garlic

Classic marinade recipe

You can avoid blueing the product using the correct preservation method. It can be used for tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables. To prepare the marinade you will need:

  • 10 garlic heads;
  • 3-4 pods of hot pepper;
  • 2-3 bay leaves;
  • black pepper peas;
  • 2 tbsp vinegar;
  • 30 gr. sugar and salt (to taste).


The marinade is preparing quickly. The main thing is to know the correct sequence of operations:

  1. Vegetable is peeled, cut into teeth.
  2. Peppers are washed and finely cut.
  3. The peeled product is washed with 2 l. hot water in which 2 tablespoons of salt are dissolved.
  4. A marinade is prepared. In 700 ml. water must be added: 5-10 peas of pepper, 2 bay leaves, 30 g of salt, 30 g of sugar and spices. It is necessary to bring the marinade to a boil and cool to a warm state.
  5. Vegetables arranged in jars should be poured with marinade and tightly closed with a lid.

After cooking, turn the jars upside down until they will not completely cool. Keep them in a cool dark place. You can open the workpiece after 14 days. During this time, the vegetables have time to marinate. If everything is done correctly, there will be more chances that the vegetable will not change its color. The low temperature of the brine during the preservation of vegetables will reduce the decay rate of allinin and the product itself will not lose its natural appearance.

The smells are unpleasant

Decay products, a person can feel himself. An ordinary housewife can be frightened by an unpleasant smell. Do not release a jar full of cucumbers or tomatoes. Dispose of nothing. Unpleasant odor and color, do not carry any threat to human health. Vegetables do not lose their taste when pickling their properties.

The equally popular question about blue garlic, why it has an unpleasant smell, also has an explanation. Scientists confirm that the sharp unpleasant odor that a vegetable may have is associated with the release of ammonia and thiol. But, their dose is completely safe for humans. And an unnatural color is a phenomenon that cannot be predicted.


The turning blue of garlic in jars with vegetable preserves is a common phenomenon. The fact is that the composition of this product contains the enzyme allinin, which in an acidic environment and leads to visible changes. But, according to scientists, this is not the only reason for the turning blue of the vegetable. The color may also change due to the high copper content in it, as well as due to errors in the storage and preparation of the workpieces.

Scientists have found that the blueed vegetable can be eaten. It does not cause any harm to human health. The only thing that may bother the owner of such stocks is the appearance of the product.

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Anna Evans

Author ✓ Farmer

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