An Explanation of the Aroma Science Behind the Appealing Smell of Cooking Bacon

YouTube science channel Reactions uses some facts and figures from chemistry blog Compound Interest to offers some insight into why bacon smells so good when it’s cooking. The nice smell is due, in part, to the Maillard reaction, the same chemical reaction that causes bread to turn brown while it’s baking.

It turns out there are about 150 organic compounds that contribute to the sweet smell of bacon. See, when you throw it in the pan, sugars react with amino acids in the bacon. It’s called “Maillard Reaction.” It’s basically what causes anything you cook — steak, breads, dumplings and so on — to turn brown.

Bacon smell

image via Compound Interest

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