Bacon is one of the West’s most popular foods, with it eaten in a full English for breakfast, add it to a salad for lunch, and on your burger for dinner, but just why does it smell so delicious?

American Chemical Society (ACS) teamed up with Compound Interest to explain why the aroma is so delectable.

Bacon has 150 volatile organic compounds that contribute to it smell, including many hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones and aldehydes alongside some nitrogen-containing compounds, which are exclusively found in bacon and not other pork products.

Individually, the nitrogen compounds 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 2,3-dimethylpyrazine, 2-ethyl-5-methylpyrazine and 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine do not produce the bacon smell, but combined scientists believe that they are responsible.

The cooking of bacon also facilitates the Maillard reaction, where amino acids and reducing sugars react to brown and give flavour to foods, and add to that the sizzling, melting fats and you have a combination that can produce an irresistible aroma.


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