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Eating an apple and drinking green tea is the best way to cure garlic breath, scientists have found.

The pungent odour of garlic is created by compounds containing sulphur, which move into the bloodstream when it is eaten and then out through the lungs and sweat glands.

Researchers at Ohio State University have found the best way to get rid of the smell of garlic is by eating and drinking foods which neutralise it.

Apples contain an oxidating enzyme which makes the fruit turn brown when it is exposed to the air. This enzyme sets off a chemical reaction which deodorizes sulphides contained in garlic.

These sulphides in garlic are contained in allyl methyl sulphide, which cannot be broken down during digestion which causes it to be released on the breath and in sweat.

Poplyphenols, chemicals contained in green tea, work in a similar way to neutralise the compound.

The scientists also found that drinking lemon juice, because of its high acidity, neutralises the smell from crushed garlic. Acidic liquids destroy allinase, an enzyme, which activates when garlic is crushed and releases the distinctive smell.

Professor Barringer, of Ohio State University’s food science and technology department, said for the best effect the foods should be eaten with garlic.

She found a small glass of milk can also reduce the presence of garlic on the breath.

The study has been published in the Journal of Food Science and involved volunteers eating raw garlic and having four bad smelling compounds in their breath measured. They then ate foods which were thought to neutralise the smell.

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