What is Dehydrated Garlic?
Dehydrated garlic is high in antioxidants and is a widely used spice used in baking. Garlic is known for a distinct strong and slightly spicy flavor that comes from allicin, which serves to enhance virtually all savory dishes. Garlic is a member of the same genus as onions and is native to central Asia. Dehydrated garlic is now used all throughout the world in a variety of applications where fresh garlic would have been used. In the United States, 90% of the garlic produced is grown in California, thus most of the dehydrating plants are also in California.
Dried garlic can be used in a wide variety of applications, and nearly any savory dish can have garlic added to it. It is one of the most ubiquitous spices in the world and used frequently as a topping for baked goods, mixed into pizza dough, and in many other applications in the food industry. It can be added with other dry ingredients and added directly to products. Powdered garlic is typically used when the garlic flavor is desired, while minced and flaked garlic add a different texture and mouthfeel to products. Due to its effect on yeast and extensibility, garlic will affect the volume and quality of bread dough.
Drying garlic is similar to most other dried vegetable products. First, garlic is brought to the dehydrators from farms where the edible root part, also called the bulb, is striped of its papery skin. The skin is then discarded. Sometimes the rest of the plant is used in cooking applications. Then the bulbs are sliced and go down a series of conveyor belts that takes the sliced garlic into rooms of varying temperatures and circulation levels to bring the moisture content to near 6%. These flakes can then be packaged directly as flaked or sliced dried garlic, or further processed into ground or minced garlic. In powdered garlic, a small amount of calcium stearate is added as an anticaking agent.
When dehydrated, some of the flavor is lost in garlic, however it is still a strong flavor. It is a creamy brown color that is typically less hot tasting than fresh garlic. Dried garlic has a moisture content of near 6% while toasted versions usually have a moisture content closer to 3%. When stored in a dry and cool place, dried garlic will stay fresh for two to three years. This, in addition to the convenience of dried garlic, has lead to an increase of dried garlic use across the world. It requires no processing, has no waste, and can be added directly to food products, making it a simple way to add flavor to dishes. While there is no exact definition of the particle sizes on ground, minced, and flaked garlic, typically flaked garlic is in thin flakes that mimic the shape of a garlic clove. Minced garlic has a particle size between .5 mm and 3.35 mm, and powdered garlic is typically between 0.355 mm and 0.15 mm.