Depending on where your garlic is sourced, there may be peanut residue in your garlic ingredients. How does cross-contact between garlic and peanuts occur? Let’s dive in...
Chinese garlic and peanut contamination
China is one of the world’s largest producers of garlic and peanuts. The map below shows the main production areas of Chinese garlic and peanuts. Farmers in China often grow them together or as rotational crops. When this happens, peanuts and/or peanut shells can be inadvertently included in the garlic supply chain. Since these farms are very small, similar to a backyard garden, there are few regulations or processes to control this problem.
Chinese garlic also offers little to no traceability. Meaning, buyers are unable to find out what farm the garlic they’re purchasing was grown on or what farming practices were used, so they cannot verify if there is possible peanut contamination risk.
garlic is peanut-free
US garlic does not pose the same risk of cross-contact, primarily due to the distance between growing regions. The map below shows the main productions areas of US garlic and peanuts. The overwhelming majority of US garlic is grown on the west coast -- such as Olam’s US garlic (which is not cultivated near any commercial peanut production areas). While 99% of the US peanut crop is planted and harvested in 10 states of the southeastern United States.
At Olam Spices, we further mitigate any risk by operating our own processing facility in Gilroy, California, where we do not allow any of the major allergens on the premises. This gives us complete supply chain control from seed-to-shelf, while eliminating any risk of cross-contact with major allergens.
We recently gathered 130 random spice samples of dried garlic from grocery stores across the US and had each bottle tested by an impartial 3rd party lab for the presence of peanut residue. The results showed that 20% of the product tested positive for containing peanut residues. This suggests much of the Chinese garlic should be labeled as “may contain” a food allergen.
Ease any food safety, sustainability and traceability concern you may have by choosing Olam’s US garlic. Our peanut-free garlic can be traced back to the field it was grown in and will be processed and packaged in Gilroy, California at our state-of-the-art facility with the highest food safety and quality standards.