A recent study conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University has revealed that yogurt may have the ability to eliminate garlic odors. The study, which included both lab experiments and human breath tests, found that whole milk plain yogurt was able to prevent most of the volatile compounds responsible for garlic’s pungent scent from escaping into the air.
The researchers tested the deodorizing capacity of yogurt and its individual components, including water, fat, and protein. Both fat and protein were effective at trapping garlic odors, suggesting that high-protein foods could potentially be formulated to combat garlic breath in the future. The researchers believe that a high-protein formulation could be advertised as a breath deodorizer while also providing nutritional benefits.
Previous research by the senior study author, Sheryl Barringer, has identified other foods that can combat garlic breath, such as apples, mint, and lettuce. These foods contain enzymes and fats that can neutralize the sulfur-based compounds responsible for garlic’s odor.
The study confirmed that yogurt alone reduced 99% of the major odor-producing volatile compounds of raw garlic. The fat, water, and protein components of yogurt also had deodorizing effects, but fat and protein performed better than water. Different forms of whey, casein, and milk proteins were effective at trapping garlic odors, with a casein micelle-whey protein complex performing the best.
Further experiments demonstrated that changing the pH of the yogurt affected its deodorization capability on garlic. Additionally, when testing fried garlic, the researchers found that yogurt and its individual components yielded a lower percentage of odor reduction compared to raw garlic.
The study provides a foundation for future research that seeks to formulate protein-based products for reducing garlic breath. In the meantime, the researchers believe that Greek yogurt, with its higher protein content, may be particularly effective at combating garlic odors. Fruit-flavored yogurts may also work, as long as they are consumed shortly after eating garlic.
The Ohio State University