Garlic lovers rejoice! Scientists have discovered a simple solution to combat the dreaded bad breath that comes with enjoying this pungent ingredient – yogurt. According to a study published in the scientific journal Molecules, eating yogurt can effectively neutralize the unpleasant smell of garlic.
The researchers found that the protein in whole-milk plain yogurt works to counteract the sulphur-based compounds in garlic that are responsible for causing bad breath. In fact, yogurt was found to be most effective in eliminating “garlic breath” when consumed shortly after a meal containing garlic.
Dr. Sheryl Barringer, a senior author of the study and professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University, has previously explored other foods to determine if they can also freshen breath. Lettuce, apples, milk, and mint have all been shown to combat garlic breath to some extent.
For the study, Dr. Barringer and her team placed equal amounts of raw garlic in glass bottles and measured the levels of volatile molecules before and after each treatment. They found that yogurt alone was able to reduce nearly all (99%) of the major odour-producing compounds in garlic. The fat, water, and protein components of yogurt were also tested separately and were found to have a deodorizing effect on garlic, with fat and protein performing better than water. Higher butter fat in yogurt was found to be particularly effective in eliminating the odour.
The proteins studied included different forms of whey, casein, and milk proteins, all of which showed effectiveness in deodorizing garlic. However, a casein micelle-whey protein complex was found to be the most effective.
Dr. Barringer explained that high-protein foods are currently popular, and a high-protein formulation could potentially be marketed as a breath deodorizer in addition to its nutritional benefits. This finding is particularly exciting as it provides a solution that is more appealing to consumers than suggesting the consumption of high-fat foods.
While the researchers also tested yogurt’s deodorizing effects on fried garlic, they discovered that frying the garlic can significantly reduce most of its odour-causing compounds. Therefore, they suggest that, for now, Greek yogurt may be the most effective option to combat garlic breath, as it has a higher protein value compared to whole milk plain yogurt.
Dr. Barringer emphasized the importance of consuming the yogurt immediately after eating garlic, and even flavored yogurts could potentially work. She compared the recommendation to eating apples immediately after consuming them, as the freshness is essential to counteract odours effectively.
In conclusion, yogurt has been discovered as a natural and effective method to combat garlic breath. So, next time you indulge in a garlicky dish, make sure to have some yogurt handy to freshen your breath afterwards. Your loved ones will thank you!