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哪些食物能消除嘴里的大蒜味道?

The surprising foods you should eat to banish garlic breath
哪些食物能消除嘴里的大蒜味道?

Garlic, as many chagrined garlic-bread lovers have discovered, has surprising staying power. Twenty-four hours after eating the stuff, a pungent scent still lingers on the breath and even in the sweat. In fact, one doesn't even need to put the garlic in one's mouth to get garlic breath.

让蒜蓉面包爱好者倍感沮丧的是大蒜带来的持久而浓烈的气味。吃大蒜24小时后,你呼出的气体、甚至汗液里仍然会有刺鼻的气味。事实上,只要是吃大蒜,即使是不经过口腔咀嚼过程,也会让口气里有大蒜味。

In 1936, doctors reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that a patient who'd been given garlic soup through a feeding tube had it on his breath a few hours later. Another doctor wrote that he had experienced something similar after delivering the baby of a mother with “a very decidedly obnoxious garlic odor to her breath.” Soon after birth, “I was surprised and rather amused to note that the child also had a strong garlic breath odor,” he wrote. “On occasion I have mentioned this to other men and they usually think that I am attempting to be facetious.”

1936年,《美国医学会会刊》(American Medical Association)刊登的一篇文章称,在通过饲管给病人喂食大蒜汁后(不经过口腔咀嚼),病人的呼出的气体中也出现了大蒜味道。另一篇文章也写道,一位“口中有非常浓烈的大蒜气味”的产妇分娩之后,“在婴儿嘴里也闻到了强烈的蒜味”,作者写道。“我把这个发现告诉了别人,他们都说我在开玩笑。”

The reason garlic breath can happen to people who haven't even chewed the stuff themselves, like babies and feeding-tube patients, is that garlic is stuffed with sulphur compounds that are released into the bloodstream after being digested. Whisked along by the blood, they seep out into the lungs and up the throat and out the mouth. No amount of brushing your teeth will get rid of it – the smell comes not from any garlic hanging around your mouth but from chemistry happening inside you.

婴儿或饲管病人没有经过口腔咀嚼大蒜却在呼吸口气中出现蒜味的原因在于,大蒜中的硫化合物在消化后会进入血流,并被血液带往肺、喉咙和口腔。刷牙不会消除蒜味——产生蒜味的不是残留在你口腔中的大蒜,而是你身体深处的化学效应。

Fighting chemistry with chemistry, it turns out, is a better approach. Some years ago, Sheryl Barringer, a scientist at Ohio State University who studies how volatile molecules contribute to flavour, had a student ask her about doing a project on garlic breath. There was some research on foods that, if eaten alongside the garlic, seemed to destroy the odour: some top performers included lettuce, chicory, celery, potato, parsley, mint leaves, peppermint, basil, and mushroom. But not as much was known about why. Barringer and a number of students since have looked to see just how well certain foods eliminate garlic breath and how, exactly, they do it.

为了消除蒜味,最好的方法是以牙还牙,用化学对抗化学。几年前,专门研究食物气味中挥发性分子的俄亥俄州立大学科学家谢丽尔·巴林格(Sheryl Barringer)的一位学生申请对蒜味进行研究。在此之前,人们曾经通过研究知道某些食物与蒜同食就能减弱蒜味,这些食物有莴苣、菊苣、芹菜、土豆、欧芹、薄荷叶、薄荷、紫苏和蘑菇,但却对这种现象背后的机理知之甚少。对此,巴林格和她的学生对特定食物消除蒜味的能力,及其背后所蕴含的机理进行了深入研究。

Lettuce, mint, and – somewhat surprisingly – apples have been a focus so far. “Apple is one we discovered accidentally,” says Barringer. A student who'd eaten garlic and sipped water, as a control experiment, saw surprisingly low levels of odour molecules. Going back through everything eaten that day, the student remembered eating an apple a couple hours before. Lo and behold, when they tried chewing a bit of apple after eating garlic, down went the odour.

他们把研究的重点放在莴苣、薄荷和常见的苹果上。“苹果能够消除蒜味是我们偶然发现的,”巴林格说。他们发现,在对照组实验中吃了大蒜并喝了水的一名学生的异味分子含量极低。他们让这名学生回忆当天吃了哪些食物,他记起来就在两个小时前刚吃过一个苹果。于是,他们亲自做实验:先咀嚼了少许苹果再吃大蒜,果然发现蒜味淡了许多。

The group's latest paper, which came out in September last year, traces the odour-killing power to a likely chemical reaction between four of garlic's sulphur compounds and a set of other molecules called phenolics. Volunteers chewed garlic, along with a smorgasbord of other options, and exhaled into a mass spectrometer, which detected the molecules on their breath. The researchers also mixed crushed garlic, water, and either pure enzyme or certain phenolics, including rosmarinic acid, found in mint, and had the mass spectrometer sniff these as well. Right away it was clear that raw apple, lettuce, and mint were better performers than heated versions. That indicates that enzymes, which help catalyse chemical reactions but fall apart at high temperatures, are probably involved.

实验小组去年9月发表的最新论文认为,抑制蒜味的机理在于,大蒜所含的四类含硫化合物与名为“酚”的一系列物质之间发生了化学反应。实验中,志愿者先口嚼大蒜和其他各种物质,然后向一台能够分析呼出气体中有哪些分子的质谱仪呼气。研究者还用质谱仪分析蒜泥、水、纯酵素或各类酚(包括薄荷所含的迷迭香酸)的混合物。实验发现,未经烹调的生苹果、莴苣和薄荷对蒜味的抑制效果比烹调加热后要好。这表明,某些能够促进化学反应,但在高温下失效的酵素可能也参与了抑制过程。
 

苹果可以抑制浓烈的蒜味

Of all the options, mint makes the most sense, says Barringer. Mint has very high levels of phenolics, to begin with. For a chemist, it's easy to look at rosmarinic acid and garlic's sulphur compounds and see very clearly just how this bit here would attach to this bit there and produce a molecule with no smell at all. Apples have a lower amount of phenolics, though still a decent helping. But lettuce had the least of any substance tested, far less than even green tea, which had no deodorising effect at all. “That's where I would say we don't completely understand what's going on,” says Barringer. Pure enzyme on its own did not do much to reduce most of the sulphur compounds, the team found. But in combination with phenolics, enzymes are probably behind the somewhat mysterious effects of lettuce.

在各类可抑制蒜味的物质中,薄荷的效果最好,巴林格说。首先,薄荷的酚含量非常高。迷迭香酸和大蒜中的含硫化合物很容易发生反应生成无气味产物。苹果的酚含量较低,但仍具有一定的抑制作用。莴苣中抑制蒜味的成分含量最低,甚至远低于毫无去除异味作用的绿茶。“只能说,其中有些机理我们还不了解,”巴林格说。研究小组还发现,纯酵素本身没有抑制含硫化合物的作用,但如果和酚共同作用,就会出现神奇的效果,这也是莴苣为何对于蒜味具备强大的抑制功效的原因。

By making use of this still-not-totally understood chemical dance, you can tame garlic breath. But lest we forget, no amount of deodorizing will change the fact that humans are living, breathing chemical factories. The things we exhale or sweat out can reveal not only what we've eaten in the last day but the presence of certain bacteria camping in our mouths, and even whether we have certain diseases.

利用这些我们尚未透彻了解的化学反应,就可以轻松去除口中的蒜味。这一现象充分证明了人体实际上是一座不断呼吸的化学工厂的事实。分析我们呼出的气体和排出的汗水不仅能知道昨天吃了哪些食物,还可以了解你口腔中生存着哪些细菌,甚至身体有何病症。

Scientists are exploring how molecules in exhaled breath could be used to diagnose lung cancer, and whether using electronic noses to sniff blood, urine, or tissue samples couple reveal tell-tale volatile signatures of everything from ovarian cancer to brain damage. While keeping one's stench to a minimum is a common courtesy, it's interesting to think that there may be something of value, after all, encoded in it.

科学家正在研究如何通过化验呼吸气体分子而诊断肺癌,以及如何使用电子嗅觉探头探测血液、尿液或组织样本释放的特定分子而确诊从卵巢癌到大脑损伤的各种病症。不让身上出现异味是一项起码的社交礼仪,与此同时,气味中蕴含的丰富价值还有待我们去进一步发现。
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