In many French-speaking websites or recipe books, it is claimed that the garlic sprout [the green shoot in the centre of a clove], while safe to eat, can be difficult to digest because of higher sulfur concentration.

Example: Pourquoi faut-il retirer le germe de l'ail? [Why should you remove the germ from garlic?]

If it is advisable to remove this little green shoot, it is because of its high sulfur content which makes it indigestible for some people. [Google translate]

But in English-speaking websites, there is no mention about difficult digestion. They specifically say there is no side effect.

Example: Cooking with sprouted garlic

Rashanda Cobbins, food editor for Taste of Home, says spouted garlic is perfectly safe to eat. It has no side effects, unlike sprouted potatoes. In fact, a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that garlic that’s been sprouted for five days has significantly higher antioxidant levels than fresh garlic. “It’s a personal preference whether or not you utilize spouted garlic cloves in cooking,” Cobbins says.

Do garlic sprouts contain high levels of sulfur and cause problems with digestion?

  • Found a website claiming it is a rumor. I don't know whether this source is trustworthy.
    – fffred
    Dec 25, 2023 at 18:23
  • The French version of Wikipedia says that removing the sprout makes it easier to crush the garlic (which if you then leave the crushed garlic to rest 15 minutes in open air would be enough to get rid of the most problematic compounds) but barely changes the composition by itself. No sources or references on this. Later they repeat the common claim as stated in the question, but the reference no longer exists.
    – jcaron
    Dec 31, 2023 at 13:10
  • Also note that garlic by itself has a high content of sulfur compounds (which are among other things responsible for the related bad breath and other side effects, and some people may have allergic reactions to them).
    – jcaron
    Dec 31, 2023 at 13:12


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