Eating yogurt may eliminate garlic breath, according to a study

Eating yogurt may eliminate garlic breath, according to a study
Eating yogurt may eliminate garlic breath, according to a study (Photo: Mike Kenneally/Unsplash)

A new study has revealed that proteins found in natural yogurt work to neutralize sulfur-based compounds that cause persistent bad breath after garlic consumption.

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Sheryl Barringer, the senior author of the study and a professor of food science and technology at Ohio State University in the United States, had previously investigated other foods to deduce if they too can eliminate bad breath odors.

Among the foods already proven to combat garlic breath are lettuce, apples, milk, and mint. It’s interesting to note that culinary styles that use a lot of garlic, such as those in India, typically also use more mint and yogurt than Western culinary styles.

For the new study, the team placed equal amounts of raw garlic in glass bottles, ensuring that the sulfur-based volatile compounds were released at concentrations detectable by the human nose.

They used mass spectrometry, an analytical tool, to measure the levels of volatile gas-phase molecules that were present before and after each treatment. Researchers found that yogurt alone reduced nearly all (99%) of the major volatile compounds from raw garlic that produce odor.

When tested separately, the fat, water, and protein components of yogurt also had a deodorizing effect on raw garlic, although fat and protein performed better than water.

The proteins studied included whey forms, casein, and milk proteins that were effective at deodorizing garlic. However, it was found that a micellar casein-whey protein complex performed the best.

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