Yasuyoshi Hayata of Meiji University in Kawasaki has identified substances in the green leafed herb cilantro -- also known as coriander and Chinese parsley -- that are responsible for counteracting the foul odor of chitlins cooking.
Chitlins -- hog large intestines -- boiled or fried are not only a southern delicacy in the United States during the holidays, they are a year-round staple in the cuisines of the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia, Hayata says.
Hayata and colleagues say they knew many chitlin cooks have long used cilantro -- Coriandrum sativum L. -- and set about to find why cilantro works so well. They successfully isolated one of the main deodorizing ingredients -- a substance known as (E,E)-2,4-Undecadienal -- they say has the ability to completely erase foul odor at concentrations as low as 10 parts per billion -- the equivalent to about 10 drops in an Olympic-size swimming pool.
The findings are published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.