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Dr Sakai Odourless Garlic . . . . . .

The Development of Garlic Breath

A number of sulphur-containing volatiles are responsible for the formation of garlic breath. Laasko et al were among the first to make the distinction that the composition of sulphur- containing volatiles was different when garlic-borne volatiles are generated in the mouth versus the garlic odour compounds present in garlic breath. By the use of headspace technique they identified two major sulphur compounds in exhaled air - allyl mercaptan (2-propene-1-thiol) and diallyl disulphide. Minami et al later confirmed allyl mercaptan as the major garlic-borne compound while diallyl disulphide is secondary.
In a later study by Ruiz et al, the breath concentrations of various allylic sulphur-containing garlic-borne phytochemicals were measured and their results are summarised in Figure 2. Levels of methyl allyl sulphide, allyl thiol, diallyl sulphide and diallyl disulphide were all originally high but found to drop precipitously within a relatively short period of time (1-3 hours). The slope of the curves changes dramatically by leveling off and remaining constant throughout the rest of the sampling interval. It is believed that the initial high levels and rapid decline of the sulphur compounds are related to their elimination from the oral and pharyngeal regions where they are present as residues immediately after the ingestion of garlic. The leveling off region is claimed to represent bloodstream elimination of the compounds via gas exchange in the lungs. The trials conducted by Ruiz et aI confirmed that the time taken for the change coincided with the time expected for digestion and bloodstream absorption.

Figure 2. Breath concentrations of various compounds after ingestion of fresh garlic (Ruiz et al.)

While the residual levels of sulphides and allyl mercaptan appear low, sensitivity to these compounds is high with detection levels in ppm and even ppb.

Dr Sakai Garlic - mode of action.

The processes described in Sakai's patent involve soaking the garlic bulbs in a deodorising solution containing mesoinositol hexaphosphate and silicic acid. The bulbs become impregnated with the solution and are then dried before use.
In the patent Sakai attributes the malodour of garlic to the combination of sulphides and mercaptans generated by the garlic within the bulb and presumably also after crushing and ingestion. He goes on to state that alliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine sulphoxide), the precursor to the formation of allicin when garlic tissue is ruptured, undergoes an enzymatic decomposition within intact garlic tissue to form a compound called aricine (16,17-didehydro-10-methoxy-19a-methyloxayohimban-16-carboxylic acid) and that it is as a result of this decomposition of alliin to aricine that mercaptans are formed.
The patent claims that the mesoinositol hexaphosphate has the effect of coagulating the enzyme that is responsible for the alliin to aricine reaction thereby significantly reducing the levels of mercaptan. It further claims that the process involves increasing the temperature of the deodorising solution (in which the bulbs are soaked) and that this causes a vigorous enzymatic formation of mercaptans within the garlic tissue. Subsequent lowering of the temperature and the introduction of pressure differentials cause the deodorising solution to be taken up and to act upon the cell contents. The silicic acid 'mops up' the free sulphides (including mercaptans) while the mesoinositol hexaphosphate acts upon the enzyme that causes mercaptans to be generated. The final stage of the process involves again reversing osmotic pressures so that the 'spent' deodorising solution is removed. The bulbs are then dried and processed in the normal way.


Sakai states that the malodour associated with garlic is due to a combination of sulphides and mercaptan. This is supported by the research paper published by Minami et al (1989) who confirmed that the major compounds in exhaled air were primarily allyl mercaptan with diallyl disulphide as a secondary contributor.
The mechanisms described by Sakai are more challenging and these specific pathways are at present beyond the scope of this study.
R. Yamamoto of Ricom Corporation of Japan has independently tested Sakai garlic and whilst the results are not statistically valid, they do give an indication of the effectiveness of the Sakai product. Note that the results were obtained from subjects who held garlic in their mouths and did not ingest so the compounds measured will be principally from garlic tissue retained in the mouth and on the teeth and not from gas exchange via the lungs.


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