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Q: Is black garlic allowed as a cottage food?

A: No. The production of making black garlic is an oxidation and crystallization process, not a fermentation process. It is made commercially using strict time and temperature controls during production to prevent the growth of clostridium botulinum. Currently, there are no research-tested methods to safely make back garlic at home. Household equipment like slow cookers and rice cookers are not built to run for days and days as needed to produce black garlic. Therefore, black garlic is not allowed as a cottage food in Minnesota and requires a license to produce it. Note: Black garlic can be produced and sold under the Minnesota "product of the farm" exclusion from licensing. However, it is important to note that there are serious food safety and general safety concerns about its production. Using household appliances for extended periods poses a fire hazard risk. Also, if the temperature fluctuates during the aging process, the final product may be unsafe. Best practice:
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Q: Can I sell dog treats under this law?

A: Yes. Note that treats must be non-potentially hazardous, meaning they do not support the rapid growth of bacteria that would make people or pets sick when held outside of refrigerated temperatures. Only baked or dehydrated treats can be made under the cottage food exemption. Only treats for dogs or cats can be made and sold under this exemption, and they must be safe for the intended species. Some ingredients (for example, onions) may be toxic to cats or dogs and should not be added to pet treats. See the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s guidance document .

Q: Can I register my business?

A: Yes. An individual who qualifies for a cottage food exemption may organize their cottage food business as a business entity recognized by Minnesota state law. More information on legal Minnesota business entity structures can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State Office website . Also, see the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s guidance document .

Q: Can I sell extracts?

 A:  Extracts are not allowed as a cottage food product, mainly because of its alcohol content. An example would be vanilla extract. Normally, it's made from vanilla beans and alcohol (normally vodka but others are used). For vanilla extract to be called pure, the FDA requires that the solution contains a minimum of 35% alcohol and 100g of vanilla beans per liter. For MN cottage foods to contain alcohol (flavorings, candy filling, wine jelly, etc.) the final alcohol content cannot be more than one-half of one percent by volume. These types of products need to be tested at a commercial lab for alcohol content. If a product contains more than one-half of one percent by volume, the MN Department of Public Safety handles the regulations/requirements.