Many food products can contribute to their own special brand of bad breath. The American Academy of Family Physicians recognizes a number of them as agents of halitosis, though it does not necessarily recommend avoiding them.
To help convey the power of varieties of oral odor like garlic breath or onion breath, below are a few records selected from the International Federation of Competitive Eating, along with explanations of how each food causes bad breath.
Onions - Eric Booker captured the record for onions in 2004 by eating 8.5 ounces of them - more than half a pound - in exactly one minute. According to the book Volatile Compounds in Foods and Beverages (VCFB), onions contain large amounts of dimethyl sulfide, a sulfurous compound that gives the bulb - and your mouth - its smell. Severe onion breath can even bring others to tears. Onions contain also contain syn-propanethial-S-oxide, a chemical that makes tear glands spring into action.
Asparagus - Like onions, asparagus contains dimethyl sulfide, which is one of the more common volatile sulfur compounds found in bad breath. Vanillin and 1,2-dithiacyclopentene probably also contribute to the odor of the green vegetable, the VCFB reports. In 2008, hot dog-eating champion Joey Chestnut ate almost nine pounds of asparagus in 10 minutes.
Garlic - Part of the Allium family of bulbs, in which onions also belong, garlic may be one of the most widely blamed halitosis agents, and right fully so. Garlic contains dozen of volatile sulfur molecules, each of which delivers its own scent to the nostrils of others. The primary odor molecule in garlic is allyl methyl sulfide, which the VCFB says the plant its particular reek. Competitive eater Pete Davekos ate more than seven pounds of garlicky greens in 2005, all in five minutes.
Meat - Savory foods containing meat and spices can cause pungent halitosis, mainly due to lipid-based volatile molecules found in different types of meats. Here are some unsavory records. Gyros: Patrick Bertoletti ate 10 and a half pounds in 10 minutes. Ham: Seaver Miller, nearly three pounds in five minutes. Krystal burgers: Perhaps the ultimate meat-eating record, Joey Chestnut ate 103 of these, patties and buns together, in eight minutes.
No one, not even the most hardened competitive eater, needs to suffer unnecessarily from halitosis. By brushing away food particles, you can eliminate the nutrition source for odor-causing oral bacteria. Afterwards, rinsing with a specialty breath freshening product can neutralize the hundreds of sulfuric compounds potentially lurking in your mouth.