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Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Cilantro Ingredient Can Remove Foul Odor of 'Chitlins'

A group of Japanese researchers recently published about the deodorizing effect of the herb cilantro (sometimes known as coriander) on the savory dish of 'chitlins'. They analyzed the volatile compounds in cilantro to see which seemed to have the most deodorizing effect, and concluded that "(E,E)-2,4-undecadienal was the most effective deodorizing compound", and did so at miniscule amounts of 10 parts per billion. Chitlins is made from porcine gut, and the smell is said to smell of the waste content in the porcine gut.

Identification of (E,E)-2,4-Undecadienal from Coriander ( Coriandrum sativum L.) as a Highly Effective Deodorant Compound against the Offensive Odor of Porcine Large Intestine.
Abstract here
Ikeura H, Kohara K, Li XX, Kobayashi F, Hayata Y.
Oct 2010

School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 214-8571, Japan.
Abstract
The leaves of coriander ( Coriandrum sativum L.) exhibited a strong deodorizing effect against porcine internal organs (large intestine). The effective deodorizing compounds of coriander were identified by separating the volatile component of coriander, testing the effectiveness of each fraction against the offensive odor of porcine large intestine, and then identifying the compounds by GC-MS. The volatile component of coriander was first separated into six fractions (A-F) by preparative gas chromatography, and the deodorizing activity of each of these fractions against the offensive odor was measured. Fraction D, which showed the strongest deodorizing effect, was then separated into 12 subfractions by preparative GC. The deodorant activity of each subfraction was evaluated, and the deodorant compounds were identified by GC-MS. It was discovered that (E,E)-2,4-undecadienal was the most effective deodorizing compound. The deodorizing activity of (E,E)-2,4-undecadienal on the porcine large intestine increased as with concentration, reaching almost complete deodorizing ability at 10 ppb.

Deodorizing is a standard part of the Trimethylaminuria (TMAU) protocol, usually done by neutralizing the volatile free trimethylamine as best as possible, rather than masking. The 2 main ways recommended to do this are by using gut adsorbents that bind to the TMA in the gut (such as charcoal and chloryphyll) and to use acidic soaps that offset the alkaline TMA, making it into a salt. It is not clear if the researchers are claiming cilantro has a neutralizing effect, rather than being a masking agent. For TMAU it would also need to be checked that there were no complications with cilantro, such as it's choline content or being an FMO3 enzyme inhibitor.

From the NIH TMAU article :
Use of acid soaps and body lotions. Trimethylamine is a strong base (pKa 9.8). Thus, at pH 6.0, less than 0.02% of trimethylamine exists as the volatile free base. The use of soaps and body lotions with a pH close to that of normal skin (pH 5.5-6.5) helps retain secreted trimethylamine in a less volatile salt form that can be removed by washing.

Sequestering of trimethylamine produced in the gut. When taken as dietary supplements, activated charcoal (750 mg twice daily for ten days) and copper chlorophyllin (60 mg three times a day after meals for three weeks) decrease the concentration of free trimethylamine in the urine.

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