World-first recognition for local virus-busting garlic

31 May 2023

Doherty Institute research has backed an Australian garlic producer’s COVID-19 and flu-fighting garlic variety that demonstrates 99.9 per cent efficacy.


At a launch today hosted by the Victorian Chamber, Australian Garlic Producers (AGP) revealed that their unique Australian-grown garlic varieties demonstrate superior antiviral activity against the viruses that cause COVID-19 and the common flu. 

Doherty Institute studies in Melbourne involved in-vitro testing against the viruses of AGP’s proprietary garlic ingredient extracted from exclusive Australian grown garlic varieties.  

The results came as a world first, with the findings from specific garlic varieties proving to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza type A viruses.  

The most efficacious garlic varieties and their extracted proprietary garlic ingredient are now being commercialised by AGP, to be rolled out in major supermarkets and selected pharmacies, with the novel garlic oil extraction process subject to a recently lodged international patent.  

Doherty Institute Business Development Director Dr Martin Elhay said: “Upon the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we at the Doherty Institute were committed to the global effort to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2. To help do this, we provide services to test products like AGP’s.” 

Dr Julie McAuley, manager of the high containment facility COVID-19 research lab, added: “For the past 18 months we have assessed a variety of AGPs products.  

“We performed several blinded experiments and found one of AGPs products could reduce the infectious titre of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza by 3-log-fold (99.9 per cent). We could barely detect any remaining virus genome, indicating nearly complete virucidal activity.”  

AGP CEO Nick Diamantopoulos said the results proved the long-held belief that garlic in general had superfood qualities, they also confirmed his belief that “not all garlic is created equal”.  

“Over the past 25 years we have collected over 309 garlic cultivars from around the globe,” he explained.  

“Our extensive R&D over many years with leading Australian universities and institutions, has shown that garlic varieties not only vary in their agronomic and physiological properties, but also in their biochemical properties.  

“This type of detailed analysis is the key reason that has led to the identification of unique and specific garlic varieties with superior properties.”  

The organisation harvests Australian grown garlic across the Northern Territory, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.  

The next key study will test of specific garlic varieties believed to have cholesterol lowering properties. 

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra said: “The Victorian Chamber gladly advocates for continued investment into biomedical research and public health, two sectors that are critical to the growth and prosperity of Victoria and are part of our state’s most significant and productive industries. 

"This is the perfect example of how industry, business and our renowned research institutions can work together to deliver a global game changer. It is another innovative Victorian discovery and the Victorian Chamber is delighted to support our members to help propel this incredible product to the world." 

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