Why bacon smells so darn delicious -- it's all in the chemistry!

The American Chemical Society's Web series "Reactions" explains why you can't resist the smell of bacon

By Sarah Gray
May 29, 2014 7:15PM (UTC)
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There is something irresistible about bacon: The crackling in the pan, the salty fatty flavor and of course bacon's undeniably mouthwatering scent. It is such a powerfully delicious aroma, that Oscar Mayer attempted to harness the scent in a promotional alarm clock.

A video from the American Chemical Society -- with the help of the folks at Compound Interest, who dug up a study on the subject -- explains why bacon smells so darn good: chemistry, of course! The irresistible scent is due to the Maillard reaction (sugars reacting with amino acids), which combines with the melting fats to create more than 150 organic compounds that contribute to the lip-smacking smell of bacon. Watch the video from the American Chemical Society's "Reactions" to learn more:


h/t It's Okay to be Smart

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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Bacon Chemistry Food Science Video Why Bacon Smells Good