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Foods -- General

What causes the blue streaks on the garlic that is in my pickles?

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Garlic contains sulfur compounds, which might react with copper to form copper sulfate, a blue or blue-green compound. The amount of copper needed for this reaction is very small and is frequently found in normal water supplies. Use the pickles but discard the garlic. Garlic bulbs that have not been properly cured before marketing or bulbs that have been refrigerated will turn green or blue-green. Storing garlic bulbs in dry air for 32 days at or above 70 to 80 F before use will prevent formation of green or blue-green pigments.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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