Apple, lettuce and mint leaves can remove garlic breath, says study

garlic breath

Garlic has a strong smell, and it can cause undesirable garlic breath that lingers for 24 hours. Therefore, it is helpful to find effective ways to remedy garlic breath.

In a study newly published in Journal of Food Science, researchers find that mint leaves, apple and lettuce can help remove garlic breath.

Researchers from Ohio State University conducted the study. They tested what types of food could reduce the volatiles responsible for garlic breath.

In the study, participants ate garlic first, and then took water, raw, juiced or heated apple, raw or heated lettuce, raw or juiced mint leaves, or green tea immediately.

The levels of the garlic volatiles on the breath were analyzed from 1 to 60 min by a technique called Selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). This technique can trace volatile compounds during a well-defined time period along a flow tube.

The result showed that raw apple, raw lettuce, and mint leaves could strongly decrease all the garlic breath volatiles. It is possible that the volatile compounds reacted with phenolic compounds (usually existing in medicine herbs and dietary plants) and led to enzymatic deodorization.

In addition, apple juice and mint juice could reduce the breath, but not as effective as the raw food. This might be because the juice had enzymatic activity but the phenolic compounds already changed.

Both heated apple and heated lettuce could reduce the main types of garlic volatiles. However, green tea had no deodorizing effect.

Based on the findings, researchers suggest that chewing mint leaves, eating apple and lettuce (raw and cooked) will help remove garlic breath.

Citation: Mirondo R, Barringer S. (2016). Deodorization of Garlic Breath by Foods, and the Role of Polyphenol Oxidase and Phenolic Compounds. Journal of Food Science, published online. doi: 10.1111/1750-3841.13439.
Figure legend: This image is for illustrative purposes only.