London: Eating an apple or drinking a small glass of milk can help you get rid of 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 found the best way to get rid of the smell of garlic is by eating and drinking foods which neutralise it.
In an experiment, volunteers ate raw garlic and had four bad smelling compounds in their breath measured. They then ate foods which were thought to neutralise the smell.
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 deodorises sulphides contained in garlic.
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, 'The Telegraph' reported.
Acidic liquids destroy allinase, an enzyme, which activates when garlic is crushed and releases the distinctive smell.
For the best effect the foods should be eaten with garlic, said Professor Barringer, of Ohio State University's food science and technology department.
A small glass of milk can also reduce the presence of garlic on the breath, researchers said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Food Science.