If you are a consumer of garlic, of course there are plenty of health benefits you stand to gain from garlic consumption. However, it can leave you with a bad breath which no one will like.
Researchers may have found a new solution to the halitosis problem experienced by many garlic consumers. A study published in the September issue of the Journal of Food Science found that eating raw apple or lettuce may help reduce garlic breath.
Researchers from the Ohio State University gave participants three grams of softneck garlic cloves to chew for 25 seconds, and then water (control), raw, juiced or heated apple, raw or heated lettuce, raw or juiced mint leaves, or green tea were consumed immediately. The volatiles responsible for garlic breath include diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, allyl methyl disulfide, and allyl methyl sulfide. The levels of volatiles on the breath after consumption were analysed by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry.
Raw apple and raw lettuce and decreased the concentration of volatiles in breath by 50 percent or more compared to the control for the first 30 minutes. Mint leaves had a higher deodorisation level compared to raw apple and raw lettuce for all volatile compounds measured. Apple juice and mint juice reduced the levels of volatiles, but not as effectively as chewing raw apple or raw mint. Both heated apple and lettuce produced a significant reduction of volatiles. Green tea had no deodorising effect on the garlic compounds.
According to the researchers, foods deodorise garlic breath through two mechanisms. First, enzymes in the raw foods help to destroy the odours, and then, phenolic compounds in both the raw and cooked foods destroy the volatiles. This is why raw foods were generally more effective because they contain both the enzymes and the phenolic compounds.
So eating raw apple and lettuce might just be what you need for that disapproving breath that comes with eating garlic.