National Quemoy University’s Department of Food Science over the weekend unveiled an unusual innovation sure to challenge even the most adventurous palate — a yogurt beverage made of black garlic and milk.
The beverage contains a much higher antioxidant content that promotes the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, according to the university.
Assistant professors Lai Ying-Jang (賴盈璋) and Lin Chih-fan (林志芳) said that the revolutionary product is the result of an initiative by the National Science Council, which has since become the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The council’s scientists looked into developing new products after examining a wide variety of garlic strains, including those grown locally and those imported.
As a result, the initiative found ways of vastly improving the yield rate of black garlic production.
Lai and Lin said that products such as the yogurt beverage could raise the profitability of local garlic production. It can sell for up to 10 times the retail price of the unprocessed ingredient, they said.
The school explained that the technique employed in making black garlic originated in Japan and South Korea.
It involves a biotransformation process, where garlic is left to ferment in a climate-controlled environment. After fermentation, the pungent flavor of the garlic is eliminated entirely and replaced by a sweet, fruity taste.
Made from a concoction of yogurt culture, black garlic and milk, the beverage’s antioxidant content is on par with that of black garlic, the professors said, citing findings from laboratory tests.
Quemoy University students who have tried the beverage responded favorably, saying its taste closely resembles conventional store-bought yogurt drinks.
The professors on Friday urged the government to take heed of the potential reward of developing innovative value-added products, calling for more funding to help transform the nation’s agricultural sector.
Oversupply last year sent garlic prices tumbling to below NT$20 per 600 grams in the nation’s major production centers of Kinmen and Yunlin.
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