LOS ANGELES - Romantics and foodies, listen up: science has finally found the cure for garlic breath. Garlic, of course, is an essential, healthy ingredient found in everything from soups to pastas to pestos. There's just one problem: it has the terrible side effect of halitosis, which can last for up to 24 hours.
Luckily, Dr. Sheryl Barringer and her team at Ohio State University are interested in flavor chemistry, and their study has the answers garlic lovers so desperately seek. What makes that awful stench go away?!
According to their research, mint, apples and lettuce can all reduce the volatiles responsible for garlic breath by 50 percent. How do they know? The researchers chose brave participants to chew raw garlic for 25 seconds, and then try a variety of cooked and raw foods in an attempt to deodorize their breath.
It comes down to the specific enzymes and phenolic compounds present in raw apples and raw mint-- which are your two best bets for beating garlic breath. "Heated lettuce" also proved effective, although we don't know who's eating hot lettuce.
So the next time you have a little too much garlic, grab an apple, some mint-- or a handful of lettuce (and make a beeline to the nearest microwave) in hopes of saying bye bye to that breath, and hello to your loved ones.