Some would say that Americans have an “obsession” with bacon, but why? Tastiness aside, there’s something about the smell that draws people out of bed and around the breakfast table.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

“Turns out there are about 150 volatile organic compounds that contribute to bacon’s meaty aroma, many of them hydrocarbons and aldehydes, with some nitrogen-containing compounds thrown in for good measure,” the American Chemical Society’s Reactions blog said in a video it posted in conjunction with Compound Insterest’s chemistry blog.

What’s happening in the pan as the bacon heats up is a reaction between sugars and amino acids plus the melting of fats that makes the characteristic smell.

Watch the video for more technical information about why you likely love the smell of bacon:

(H/T: EurekAlert)

Front page image via Shutterstock