Garlic (Allium sativum), one of the best herbs for health used world-wide, has traditionally been a common food seasoning and medicinal herb. Its bulb is rich of inulin, vitamn B1, B6, S, P, saponins, and flavonoids; after crushing and enzymatic reaction, garlic produces and yields a strong pungent odor and sharp flavor of volatile oil abundantly containing several organo-sulfur compounds including allicin, ajoene, diallyl polysulfides, allyl methyl trisulfide, S-allylcysteine, vinyldithiins and other 30+ sulfur-containing compounds. Garlic oil has numerous medicinal properties such as antioxidant, anti-microbial activity, inhibition of cholesterol biosynthesis, anti-carcinogenesis, prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes and other diseases. However, fresh garlic, garlic powder are mostly used in foods and beverages but garlic oil generally in food flavor rarely used as a diet supplement. Due to the strong smelling and corrosive property, rapid volatility at room temperature and instability of reactive garlic oil, special and innovative technology with stepwise process have to be carefully applied and strictly controlled for its preparation, higher yield and its consistent quality. Garlic oil can be prepared by either steam distillation or cold compression depending on its yield and quality. Capsulation and coating of garlic oil in suitable conditions are necessary and very important for the odorless product, health effectiveness and convenience for handling and use by commercials and consumers.
The technology features for garlic oil stepwise preparation must be planned and closely controlled. They are composed of cold blending of fresh garlic into powder, enzymatic incubation at proper conditions, temperature/pressure-controlled hydro-distillation, closed-system collection of garlic oil at ultra-low temperature, mixing and diluting with other plant oil for non-corrosive and effective dose and finally chemical analysis for the quality control of the active garlic oil prepared. The specifications and advantages of each technology feature for garlic oil are as follow:
1. Technology Features: Cold blending of fresh garlic bulb.
Specifications: Adding fresh and peeled and refrigerated cold garlic bulbs in a blender and continuous blending at a high speed (> 3000 rpm ) for a short time
Advantages: To obtain well mixture of the alliin substrate and alliinase enzyme in garlic fine powder.
2. Technology Features: Enzymatic incubation.
Specifications: Adding water (50-100 ml) and garlic powder (1 kg) in a closed glass container kept at 30-37oC for 1-5 hrs.
Advantages: For substantial reaction between alliin and alliinase for higher and maximal yield of garlic oil.
3. Technology Features: Temperature/pressure-controlled hydro-distillation.
Specifications: Boiling and steaming of water in below division and adding garlic powder from.
Advantages: For higher vaporization and maximal yield of volatile garlic oil.
4. Technology Features: Collection of garlic oil.
Specifications: Condensation of volatile garlic oil at temperature below 4 oC.
Advantages: For quick condensation and maximal yield of volatile garlic oil.
Health and well being.