From the iconic sound of its sizzle to its mouth-watering aroma, bacon is exceptionally irresistible. But why exactly does bacon smell so good?

That’s just what set out to discover in a recent article.

As they uncovered, the world of scientific research hasn’t been quite as enamored with bacon as the general public, and research on the chemical makeup behind the aroma of frying bacon is disappointingly sparse.

“Clearly science has a few priorities to get in order,” the article said.

So back to the question: what compounds give bacon its aroma?

As it turns out, there is an impressive and exhaustive list of volatile compounds present in bacon – and pork – aromas, including large quantities of hydrocarbons, alcohols, ketones and aldehydes. Some compounds, all containing nitrogen, were found exclusively in bacon, suggesting that these play a major role in its scent.

To help understand the chemistry behind bacon’s alluring aroma, also created an infographic, available below or by clicking here.