Double fermented black garlic, an extremely powerful product with unique health benefits!
Black garlic, which is best known in Asian cuisines, is starting to gain popularity in Europe. It is in fact a ripened garlic that is obtained through a special manufacturing process. This process, also known as fermentation, means that the garlic cloves are exposed to a certain temperature and humidity for an considered period of time. The secret to a good black garlic preparation is that these atmospheric conditions are perfect. During ripening, a Maillard reaction develops, causing a gradual caramelization of the garlic. Black garlic is not only highly appreciated for its taste, but also for its health benefits.
Garlic has been used to treat diseases for thousands of years. In ancient times it was said: "Eat garlic regularly because it clears the mind, strengthens masculinity and expels intestinal parasites" (Talmud, Jewish writing). In traditional Chinese medicine, garlic has been used to treat bowel disorders, especially in diarrhea, dysentery and colitis. In ancient Egypt, garlic was part of the daily diet, especially for workers who had to do heavy labor. Garlic was found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and in the army of Nero, garlic was advised to clean the arteries!
Transformation by fermentation
Garlic does have a specific odor that is not always perceived as pleasant. So one often does not get to consume a significant amount of garlic daily, even if it is believed to be a healthy herb.
The question is whether there are techniques to transform garlic to get the most out of the plant with a minimum intake.
Indeed, there is an interesting technique, namely fermentation, that makes the garlic turn dark.
Garlic fermentation is done by a technological process that takes months. It happens under controlled humidity and at different pre-programmed temperatures. Small quantities are always used to properly monitor the process. Certain substances disappear, such as certain fragrances, but other substances are created. This strengthens the medicinal properties of the plant and makes the fragrance softer. The color turns dark brown, partly due to Maillard's reaction. A soft aroma of roasted meat with coffee notes appears.
Antioxidants and other nutrients
To make a good product, it is best to take a garlic variety that contains a lot of antioxidants (in this case the Hardneck Red Russian). It is also important to use organic garlic, especially if you want to consume this product daily. The organic cultivation method guarantees a strong presence of various minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and certain active sulfur-containing compounds.
The fermentation process transforms the polyphenols and the flavonoids of the garlic. These active substances are cut into smaller pieces. This makes them more bioavailable. They are more numerous in number and end up all over the body to perform their protective effect as an antioxidant. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an antioxidant enzyme found in plants. This enzyme is very effective but not very stable. These transformed polyphenols and flavonoids are often referred to as SOD-like substances because they have, among other things, an antioxidative property that is comparable to SOD, but these transformed active substances are very stable, which provides an enormous advantage in terms of effectiveness.
The sulfur-containing compounds
One of the main components of garlic is the sulfur-containing compounds. They are known for their fragrance. But the impact on health cannot be underestimated. The body needs these sulfur-containing amino acids and other compounds because they play an important role in the structure of proteins (the formation of sulfur bridges) and the detoxification of harmful substances.
There are water and fat-soluble sulfur-containing compounds. The water-soluble compounds penetrate to the brain!
During the fermentation process of the garlic, unique water-soluble sulfur compounds such as S-allyl cysteine ??(SAC) and S-allyl mercaptocysteine ??(SMAC) are created with much better bioavailability than compounds in ordinary garlic such as allicin.
SAC is a very stable molecule, in contrast to the extremely unstable active ingredient allicin. It is important to choose a fermented black garlic with a high standardization on SAC as many scientific studies indicate that the important health effects of this substance. SAC is considered an important chemical marker for the effectiveness of garlic.
FBG22TM, a trademark of the Fermedics company, is fermented garlic containing as much as 22 mg of SAC (S-allyl cysteine) per gram of raw material. This is exceptionally high and is the highest level of SAC obtained naturally. This has to do with the unique, double fermentation process and the quality & type (Hardneck Red Russian) of the organic garlic.
SAC, a powerful antioxidant
Black garlic is known for its high antioxidant content. A large number of in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the antioxidant activity of SAC. A study (2012) in the scientific journal "Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity" showed that SAC is an important substance in the fight against oxidative stress, free radical damage and cell aging.
Protection against cardiovascular diseases
A well-known effect of black fermented garlic is the improvement of cardiac function in patients by improving the antioxidant levels in the blood circulation. Artherosclerosis is chronic inflammation of arterial walls caused, among other things, by oxidized fatty acids and oxidized cholesterol. Black look offers excellent protection here.
Black garlic improved the lipid profile in a double-blind study and also increased HDL cholesterol levels.
Researchers believe that the special composition of black garlic contains more than a hundred different active substances. In addition to SAC, black garlic contains a few other notable active ingredients namely AGE-1 and AGE-2 that are said to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Protection against neuro-inflammation
Fermented black look protects the nervous system from neuro-inflammation. Since ripened garlic is rich in antioxidants, it can fight inflammation and help prevent cognitive disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
A recent rat study published in the journal Nutrients found that fermented black garlic improved memory in cognitively impaired rats, and also helped reduce inflammation in the brain.
Fermented black garlic also has proven anti-cancer activity. The mechanism of the anti-cancer effects in different types of cancer consists of the induction of apoptosis, the arrest of the cell cycle and the inhibition of tumor growth and invasion.
Experimental research in animals shows that the volume of the tumor decreases in gastric cancer and the apoptosis (self-destruction) of the cancer cells is increased in both colon cancer and leukemia.
In conclusion, we can say that fermented black garlic offers many different advantages compared to fresh garlic. Because garlic has been part of the human diet for so long, it is considered very safe. The fermentation technique allows to transform the look into a powerful noble product that occupies an important place for the protection of health, especially at an age where the body becomes more vulnerable.
Black garlic is best known for its anti-oxidative properties with a beneficial effect in hyperlipidemia. It also has a strong anti-inflammatory and neuro-protective effect. A number of studies also indicate possible beneficial effects in cancer, impaired liver function and obesity.
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