Cilantro ingredient can remove foul odor of holiday chitlins

December 15, 2010, American Chemical Society

With chitlins about to make their annual appearance on Christmas and New Year's Day menus, scientists have good news for millions of people who love that delicacy of down-home southern cooking, but hate the smell. They are reporting the first identification of an ingredient in cilantro that quashes the notoriously foul odor of chitlins — a smell known to drive people from the house when chitlins are cooking. Their report appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Yasuyoshi Hayata and colleagues note that chitlins — hog large intestines — are infamous for their foul smell, which is reminiscent of the waste material that once filled the intestine. However, many people enjoy the taste of the southern delicacy. When boiled or fried, chitlins are most popular in the United States during the winter holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. However, hog large intestine also is a year-round staple in the cuisines of the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia.

Hayata's group knew that cooks long have used fresh cilantro, an herb also known as coriander or Chinese parsley, to mask the unpleasant smell of certain foods, as well as add flavor. They previously showed that cilantro could help to remove the fecal or sewage-like odor from chitlins. In the new research, they set out to discover the identity of the deodorizing chemical compounds in cilantro.

The scientists treated samples of hog large intestine with cilantro extracts of different concentrations. A panel of human sniffers identified the concentrations that were most effective in reducing the odor. Using high-tech instruments, the scientists then isolated the main deodorizing ingredients in the most effective extracts. The scientists identified several cilantro ingredients that appeared to suppress the foul odor of chitlins. One of the substances with the tongue-twisting name of (E,E)-2,4-Undecadienal had a flowery fragrance that seemed to completely erase the . That substance worked at concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion — an equivalent to about 10 drops of substance in an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Explore further: Cilantro ingredient can remove foul odor of 'chitlins'

More information: "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", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Related Stories

Cilantro ingredient can remove foul odor of 'chitlins'

November 14, 2010

With chitlins about to make their annual appearance on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day menus, scientists have good news for millions of people who love that delicacy of down-home southern cooking, but hate the ...

Small particles show big promise in beating unpleasant odors

October 27, 2010

Scientists are reporting development of a new approach for dealing with offensive household and other odors -- one that doesn't simply mask odors like today's room fresheners, but eliminates them at the source. Their research ...

Wake up and smell the sweat

November 21, 2007

Some people are oblivious to the odor in the locker room after a game, while others wrinkle their noses at the slightest whiff of sweat. Research by Prof. Doron Lancet and research student Idan Menashe of the Molecular Genetics ...

'Perfumery radar' brings order to odors

December 2, 2010

Scientists are announcing development and successful testing of the first "perfumery radar (PR)." It's not a new electronic gadget for homing in on the source of that Eau de Givenchy or Jungle Tiger in a crowded room. Rather, ...

Recommended for you

A protein that self-replicates

February 22, 2018

ETH scientists have been able to prove that a protein structure widespread in nature – the amyloid – is theoretically capable of multiplying itself. This makes it a potential predecessor to molecules that are regarded ...

Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen

February 22, 2018

Wheat, millet and maize all need nitrogen to grow. Fertilisers therefore contain large amounts of nitrogenous compounds, which are usually synthesised by converting nitrogen to ammonia in the industrial Haber-Bosch process, ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_B
not rated yet Dec 15, 2010
If I smell cilantro in any closed environment, I move or leave. It is the worst smelling 'food' that restaurants sneak into so many meals, I mean not listed on the menu. They do refund my money when told how bad it tastes and smells.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.