Deodorization of Garlic Breath Volatiles by Food and Food Components



The ability of foods and beverages to reduce allyl methyl disulfide, diallyl disulfide, allyl mercaptan, and allyl methyl sulfide on human breath after consumption of raw garlic was examined. The treatments were consumed immediately following raw garlic consumption for breath measurements, or were blended with garlic prior to headspace measurements. Measurements were done using a selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometer. Chlorophyllin treatment demonstrated no deodorization in comparison to the control. Successful treatments may be due to enzymatic, polyphenolic, or acid deodorization. Enzymatic deodorization involved oxidation of polyphenolic compounds by enzymes, with the oxidized polyphenols causing deodorization. This was the probable mechanism in raw apple, parsley, spinach, and mint treatments. Polyphenolic deodorization involved deodorization by polyphenolic compounds without enzymatic activity. This probably occurred for microwaved apple, green tea, and lemon juice treatments. When pH is below 3.6, the enzyme alliinase is inactivated, which causes a reduction in volatile formation. This was demonstrated in pH-adjusted headspace measurements. However, the mechanism for volatile reduction on human breath (after volatile formation) is unclear, and may have occurred in soft drink and lemon juice breath treatments. Whey protein was not an effective garlic breath deodorant and had no enzymatic activity, polyphenolic compounds, or acidity. Headspace concentrations did not correlate well to breath treatments.

Practical Application

The chemical make-up of specific foods can reduce the volatile compounds that are known to cause malodorous breath due to the consumption of garlic. The enzymatic activity, polyphenolic compounds, and acidity of specific foods may cause a reduction of these volatiles, while chlorophyll does not cause a deodorization effect. This could lead to commercial applications of these deodorization mechanisms.