Guwahati: An Assam youth has set an example for others by developing his innovative idea of manufacturing “commercial black garlic” from fresh garlic, which has got a good response in the state’s market.

Trailokya Dutta, who hails from Dibrugarh, developed the idea when he was working with several multinational companies in Delhi and Mumbai.

He came back and set up a private limited company with his limited capital – Tholua Pratisthan Pvt Ltd at Chandan Nagar in Guwahati for manufacturing his dream’s black garlic.

Black garlic production is a tradition of several tribal communities in the Northeast. Traditionally, it is made when heads of garlic are aged under specialized conditions of heat and humidity.

Bambooholes filled with bulbs are kept near the fireplace called jhuhal (humidity-controlled environment), to keep it at constant temperatures and humidity for more than six months to convert it to black garlic.

Nowadays, such fireplaces (jhuhal) are not available with the advent of new technology. So, the production of traditionally manufactured “black garlic” is fast disappearing.

Dutta developed a new and indigenous system for manufacturing black garlic.

Under the new system, bulbs are kept in a humidity-controlled environment from 80 to 90% at temperatures that range from 60 to 90 °C (140 to 190 °F) for 10 to 40 days.

There are no additives, preservatives, or burning of any kind. The enzymes that give fresh garlic its sharpness break down. Those conditions are thought to facilitate the Maillard reaction, the chemical process that produces new flavour compounds responsible for the deep taste of seared meat and fried onions. The cloves turn black and develop a sticky date-like texture.

“We are the company which makes healthy eating effortless and fun. We manufacture superfoods using indigenous food processing know-how, to deliver optimum natural nutrition,” Dutta said.

Trailokya Dutta

“Our Startup ‘Tholua’ has been selected for NABARD funded Agri-Business Incubation Centre of IIT Kharagpur. We are hopeful to push our #HappyGarlic mission several steps ahead with the help of their lab & R&D support,” Dutta said in a social media post.

In black garlic, the garlic flavour is softened such that it almost or entirely disappears depending on the length of time it is heated. Additionally, its flavour is dependent on that of the fresh garlic that was used to make it. Garlic with a higher sugar content produces a milder, more caramel-like flavour, whereas garlic with a low sugar content produces a sharper, somewhat more acidic flavour, similar in character to tomato paste.

While black garlic has less of the active compound allicin than its fresh raw counterpart, it does boast higher concentrations of many nutrients, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.

Like fresh raw garlic, black garlic can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Reducing high blood sugar helps prevent serious health issues, such as diabetes symptoms, kidney dysfunction, and more. Higher antioxidant levels in black garlic may also help to prevent complications related to diabetes.

Fresh raw garlic is known for its ability to help improve heart health. Black garlic may provide the same protective effects. Black garlic can also help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease.

The company has started commercial production. In December 2021, Dutta had launched an awareness campaign in Assam Book Fairground, where he got a good response from the people.

Lastly, the company has started distribution of the product in several city malls.

Dutta is also planning to make chips, sauces, chocolate, puree and varieties of pickles from black garlic in the days to come.

Also read | How Assam’s Runjun Begum, victim of domestic violence, became a change leader

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