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A Lesson in VOCs from…Bacon?!

VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. They include both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Here’s a lesson in VOCs compliments of a family favorite – bacon!

One of our favorite smells is, of course, is fabulous breakfast treat. An aroma chemistry study of fried bacon discovered 150 different VOCs present. According to the blog Compound Interest, these included hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones and aldehydes, as well as nitrogen containing compounds exclusive to bacon, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine, 2,3-dimethylpyrazine, 2-ethyl-5-methylpyrazine and 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethylpyrazine. Researchers agreed that it’s likely the combination of all of these compounds that make bacon smell so darned good!

Over the years, questions have arisen about VOCs of cleaning product chemicals which also, of course, have been studied. Here is some background on a recent study. The American Cleaning Institute posted another statement which you can read here.

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