Finally, Here's Some Good News About Garlic Breath

September 27, 2016

"I love the smell of garlic on your breath."

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.

Sink your dentures into these babies next time you consume garlic!

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.


andy September 4, 2017
Very nice one to look at this here
PKJ August 8, 2017
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Jennifer September 27, 2016
I've always relied on parsley. But in cold/flu season, there's an argument for garlic breath as prophylaxis :)
Olivia B. September 27, 2016
What about that thing where you wake up after a night of heavy garlic eating, and your pores are emanating the smell. WHAT THEN?
Julie September 27, 2016
I actually had that problem all the time because I was a crazy kid that would eat cloves upon cloves of roasted or sauteed garlic on rice, toast, by itself... I am still a garlic lover, but I've restrained myself as I've grown up. <_< Back then I used to take a dietary supplement called Body Mint, which is supposed be a sort of inside out deodorant. I'm not entirely sure how it works, but it does. If you know you're going to be eating a super garlicky meal, you can take one at the same time, and voila!
Julie September 27, 2016
The rest of my comment got cut off for some reason:
I used to take a dietary supplement called Body Mint, which works as an inside out deodorant. I don't know the mechanics behind it, but it works! Take one when you eat a garlicky meal, and you're good to go.