9th May 2017

This Is Why Bacon Smells So Good

Not much compares to the smell of bacon sizzling in the morning, but have you ever wondered what causes this mouth-watering aroma?

In terms of scientific research into bacon, shockingly, the research is very limited. But luckily for bacon lovers, there is some scientific studies to support those tasty aromas that fill our homes. Using a detailed odor profiling, scientists managed to determine the compounds that give bacon that delicious aroma, by making a comparison with the smells released from cooking pork loin. The process was to first fry the meat, mince it, then pass nitrogen gas over it to gather any volatile organic compounds which were released. The volatile compounds were then passed through a gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer (GC-MS) for the discovery process to begin.

Bacon blog image 3

So, what compounds give bacon its tasty scent?

The examiners found large quantities of several volatile compounds including: hydrocarbons; alcohols; ketones; and aldehydes, in both bacon and pork aromas. There will also be some compounds present only in bacon which researchers believe  play a major part in how it smells, all of which contain nitrogen gas. Examples of such compounds are 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 2,3-dimethylpyrazine, 2-ethyl-5-methylpyrazine and 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine. However, individually these compounds do not smell of bacon, but it is when these compounds are present together that researchers expect they are responsible for the smell..

Find out more by watching this quick video from Reactions.

Flavour and odor profiling is one of many industries Peak Scientific gas generators support. For GC-MS analysis, Peak Scientific’s Precision series of stackable nitrogen, hydrogen and zero air gas generators can provide a dedicated solution of carrier, detector and make-up gases, requiring minimal laboratory floor or bench space.  

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