Why You Love the Smell of Bacon

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Bacon really does seem to make everything better, from breakfast sandwiches to cocktails to doughnuts. But you don't always need to eat the crispy goodness to enjoy it: The sizzling aroma alone may be enough to satisfy the innate carnal desires encoded in us all, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).

In a fun, animated two-minute clip published today as part of ACS's “Reactions” web video series (watch it below!), researchers from Compound Interest, a chemistry blog, explain the science behind bacon's sweet seductive smell. When the popular meat is pan-fried, the thermal breakdown of fat molecules, sugar, and amino acids releases about 150 snout-pleasing volatile organic compounds, such as hydrocarbons and aldehydes, into the atmosphere. The savory scent is enhanced by nitrogen-containing compounds (used in the curing process), which also react to the heat and other compounds and are emitted into the air. Combined they create a silent smokey siren call to come and get it!

Check out the video and tell us: Do you agree that the smell of bacon is irresistible? Comment below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine.

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