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Stronger Garlic Could Soon Hit Supermarkets After Scientists Discover Secret To Its Distinct Flavour

Stronger Garlic Could Soon Hit Supermarkets After Scientists Discover Secret To Its Distinct Flavour

For garlic obsessives, nearly all dishes feel incomplete without the addition of the flavoursome herb.

The ingredient amps up any plate of food, while the aroma of frying garlic has a place in the Top 5 Best Smells Of All Time.

Our only criticism (and we're really clutching at straws here) is that it sometimes isn't garlicky enough! You feel us?

Anyway, in frankly incredible news for garlic lovers, stronger garlic may soon be on the supermarket shelves after scientists have "unlocked the key" to it's aroma.

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Scientists have found the protein in garlic that gives it its pungency (Credit: SWNS)
Scientists have found the protein in garlic that gives it its pungency (Credit: SWNS)

Scientists have identified a protein called allicin which is responsible for that pungent garlic smell. According to the experts, the breakthrough now opens the door to farmers offering a greater scale of flavour depending on diners' preferences.

Lead author Hannah Valentino, a PhD candidate at Virginia Tech, said: "This information changes the whole story about how garlic could be improved or we could make the compounds responsible of its unique flavour.

"This could lead to a new strain of garlic that would produce more flavour."

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Now, farmers will be able to decide exactly how potent the garlic they grow will be, letting consumers buy based on their personal preference.

There is of course one downside - a stronger bout of the dreaded garlic breath. "It could lead to more potent garlic - boosting flavour and bad breath," Professor Valentino added.

Supermarkets could soon be stocking stronger varieties of the herb (Credit: Unsplash)
Supermarkets could soon be stocking stronger varieties of the herb (Credit: Unsplash)

For millennia, civilisations have used garlic as a spice, natural remedy and pest deterrent for centuries - but they didn't know how powerful the cloves were until they tasted them.

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Now, garlic is used in tons of cuisines from French to Italian, Indian and Asian cuisine. And don't forget the universally-loved garlic bread.

According to the scientists, the findings published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry has the power to turn decades of research on its head.

They could lessen or increase the stench of the food, which could lead to better control of the crops.

Ms Valentino said: "This would help farmers. Garlic could be sold as strong or weak, depending on consumer preferences [...]

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"Greater flavour can simply be predicted, meaning powerful garlic could simply be bred or engineered."

Garlic is key to some of the nation's favourite dishes (Credit: Shutterstock)
Garlic is key to some of the nation's favourite dishes (Credit: Shutterstock)

Thanks to their work, the future awaits for fields of garlic harsh enough to keep even the most terrifying vampires at bay.

Co author Professor Pablo Sobrado said: "We have a basic understanding of the biosynthesis of allicin that is involved in flavour and smell.

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"But we also now understand an enzyme that we can try to modulate, or modify, to increase or decrease the level of the flavour molecules based on these biological processes."

Stronger garlic? Sign us up.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Tasty Food

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Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance writer working for Tyla. After graduating with an English Lit and Media degree from the University of Sussex, Ciara held jobs at GLAMOUR and Yahoo Style before packing up for a solo travelling trip around South America.