The sulfur compounds in garlic are responsible for its strong smell.
Garlic is one of the star foods of the Mediterranean Diet both for its flavor and its healthy properties. Many typical recipes from our geography are impossible to prepare without garlic. What would a good stir-fry be without garlic? As if that were not enough, many people love raw garlic, for example spread on bread. Garlic is also a very good alternative to salt to give flavor to dishes, which is ideal for people with high blood pressure. There is only one problem, the bad breath which can cause many people and which in some cases is difficult to eliminate, especially if taken raw or in sauces such as Aioli. But there is a very simple way to prevent garlic from recurring and causing bad breath: drink yogurt after eating it. Ohio State University Researchers (USA) have shown that yogurt prevents the volatile compounds in garlic that cause bad breath from escaping into the air.
Why can garlic cause bad breath?
Garlic is a plant that contains a wide variety of active substances, some of which contribute to its characteristic flavor and their medicinal properties.
- Allicin: Allicin is a sulfur compound that is released when fresh garlic is cut, minced or crushed. It is responsible for garlic’s strong smell and flavor, and is also believed to have medicinal properties.
- Sulfur compounds: In addition to allicin, garlic contains other sulfur compounds, such as ajoene and thiosulfate, which also contribute to its flavor and aroma.
- Antioxidants: Garlic is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and sulfur compounds, which can help protect cells from oxidative damage.
- Vitamins and minerals: Garlic contains important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
The bad breath associated with the consumption of garlic is mainly due to the allicin and other sulfur compounds that are released when consumed. These compounds have a strong, characteristic odor that can linger in the breath for several hours after eating garlic.
How to avoid bad breath when eating garlic
Researchers at Ohio State University have shown that Protein from natural whole milk yogurt neutralizes garlic odor and counteracts the sulfur-based compounds that cause it, especially if consumed shortly after a meal containing garlic.
To conduct the research, they placed equal amounts of raw garlic in glass bottles, ensuring that the group of volatile sulfur compounds in garlic were released in concentrations that were detected by the human eye.
They used an analytical tool spectrometry to measure the levels of these compounds and found that yogurt alone reduced almost all (99%) of the main odor-producing volatile compounds in raw garlic.
The most effective type of yogurt for eliminating garlic breath is Greek because it contains more proteins. The researchers separately tested which substance in milk is most effective against garlic odor (water, fat or protein) and found that proteins (in the form of whey, casein and other milk proteins) were the most effective. effective for deodorize garlic, more than the fat or water in yogurt.