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Study: Ginger helps against bad breath
The hot substance 6-gingerol contained in the ginger stimulates a saliva enzyme that breaks down malodorous substances. It ensures fresh breath and a better aftertaste. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology found this out in a recent study.
The experts explain that many food ingredients contribute directly to the typical taste of food and beverages through their own taste, fragrance or spiciness. In addition, other biochemical mechanisms are also initiated. For example, the 6-gingerol in ginger triggers a conversion of the enzyme sulfhydryl oxidase 1, which in turn is considered to trigger bad breath.
To find out more about food ingredients, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology examined their effects on the molecules dissolved in saliva.
Many food ingredients directly contribute to the typical taste of food and beverages through their own taste, fragrance or sharpness. But they also influence our taste sensation indirectly via other, as yet largely unknown, biochemical mechanisms.
6-Gingerol provides fresh breath
As the results of this investigation show, the sharp-tasting 6-gingerol contained in the ginger causes the level of the enzyme sulfhydryl oxidase 1 in the saliva to increase 16-fold within a few seconds. Analyzes of saliva and breathing air have shown that the enzyme breaks down malodorous sulfur-containing compounds. In this way, it is able to reduce the long-lasting aftertaste of many foods such as coffee.
Citric acid reduces our sense of salt
Citric acid, on the other hand, affects our taste perception through a completely different mechanism, according to the study. As everyone knows from their own experience, acidic foods such as lemon juice stimulate the flow of saliva. The amount of minerals dissolved in the saliva also increases in proportion to the amount of saliva.
After stimulation with citric acid, the sodium ion level rises rapidly by about eleven times. This effect then makes us less sensitive to table salt. You can find more about the study here. (pm)