06/06/2014 06:04 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2014

The Science Behind Why Bacon Smells So Good


Bacon. It's the all-American breakfast staple. A simple food, but one that's enjoyed by people across the world. Its versatility is undeniable. It can be used in desserts, in traditional breakfast foods and even in quinoa. We could eat it for every single meal (and we"ve tried). The smell of bacon wafting through the air is enough to get anybody out of bed, and brings back childhood memories of lazy weekend mornings when Mom would fry up bacon and eggs just for you. Awww.

Read More: 28 Ways to Eat Bacon for Every Meal

But, what exactly makes bacon smell so good? According to this video by the American Chemical Society and the Compound Interest Blog, there are approximately 150 organic compounds that create bacon's delicious aroma. These compounds are produced by the Maillard Reaction (which is also responsible for turning your food brown as it cooks) in combination with the melting fats from the bacon.

Although 150 seems like an extreme amount for such a simple food, it breaks down to simple hydrocarbons, aldehydes, pyridines and pyrazines, aka basic compounds students in high school biology know. It's the combination of these compounds that create bacon's unique and drool-worthy fragrance. Since there's no single compound that is responsible for the smell of bacon, it is difficult to replicate the smell (sorry to those who were looking forward to bacon perfume).

Read More: Bacon Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Chemical reaction or not, the bottom line is clear -- bacon smell is the

This post was originally published on Spoon University by Nancy Chen.

See lots and lots of bacon recipes here.