Has anyone ever uttered these words? Please let me know. Garlic-induced halitosis is one of those universally agreed-upon social abhorrences, one that people have sought a fix for in vain, resorting to mouthwash and parsley only to find they're woefully inadequate. Last Friday, though, a study published by the Institute of Food Technologists, a nonprofit dedicated to food science, concluded that garlic breath has two potent remedies: raw apples or lettuce.
The methodology was pretty straightforward: Participants were given a few garlic cloves to chew on for thirty seconds, followed by immediate consumption of a few different potential remedies: water; raw, juiced, or heated apple; raw or heated lettuce (why not juiced lettuce? Hm...a mystery); raw or juiced mint leaves; and green tea. Researchers found that eating raw apple and raw lettuce minimized the concentration of garlic breath's volatile compounds by 50% within the first thirty minutes following consumption. Mint leaves were also shown to be highly effective deodorizers, while apple juice, mint juice, heated apple, and heated lettuce also had deodorizing effects. Green tea, though, didn't do shit. Read the report here.
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Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.