What is the secret of our love for the smell of fresh bread and why does it evoke our happy memories? .. Science answers
The smell of fresh bread is used in supermarkets to encourage shoppers to spend more. The reason why fresh bread evokes a range of different emotions? It’s complex chemistry.
play chemistry Along with the mixture of flour, water and yeast, yeast plays an important role, but yeast in particular contributes a large part to the aroma that is emitted when these ingredients are combined and heated while baking bread.
Before the bread reaches the oven, a fermentation process takes place, in which a variety of compounds or molecules form, eventually affecting the bread. During fermentation, many molecules are formed that affect and emit odors that will give a distinctive flavor to the bread, as yeast cells produce chemicals that decompose during baking into aromatic substances.
A team of Irish scientists explained, in Search Conducted by the University of Dublin’s Institute of Food and Health, a traditional loaf of bread is a mixture of 540 compounds, and contains at least 20 compounds that contribute to its distinctive aroma.
Combining scientific analysis with extensive polling and research based on a sample of testers, Dr. Amalia Scannell and researchers from the Institute of Food and Health focused on analyzing the compositions of bread scents.
According to the researchers, 89% of the research sample confirmed that the smell of bread makes them happy, while 63% of them confirmed that the smell of bread evokes memories and nostalgia for the past. Further analysis, the researchers showed that the bread aroma includes not only the flavor of milk or butter, but also different flavors of cooked spaghetti, oven-baked foods, green olives, grapefruit, baked onions, caramel, green apples and grilled cheese. The ingredients of the bread have a low level of the compounds that the previous foods contain, which gives the bread the amazing combination of different, ingrained aromas.
Dr. Scannell explained that the processing of incoming odors is carried out by the olfactory bulb in the brain, which is a neural structure in the brain associated with the sense of smell, and has direct connections with the two areas of the brain that are strongly responsible for emotion and memory.
She said that bread is a staple food that appears most prominently in childhood, and therefore “it is one of those smells that evoke strong memories, especially about family, childhood and comfort.”
mothers and bread
The survey also confirmed that our favorite memories associated with baking include our memories with mothers and grandmothers.
According to the research, bread has the ability to evoke our “smell of happy memories”, which is more associated with childhood, as these types of memories tend to be memories older than the first decade of life, while memories associated with verbal or visual information originate in Early adulthood.
as shown study A survey of 1,000 people, which accompanied the scientific review conducted by the Institute of Food and Health at Dublin College, found that the most common favorite memory evoked by the smell of bread includes the word “mother” by 29%, while 20% of the respondents described the smell of bread as “childhood,” and 16% They described it as “home”, and 16% confirmed that the smell of bread reminds them of their ancestors.
In this context, the survey showed that bread is still an essential component of the Irish diet, as 33% of the Irish eat bread daily, and 58% believe that bread is an essential partner for different types of soups, and 53% of respondents eat bread for breakfast.