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I really detest ‘smoky’ flavours eg smoked paprika. It tastes like fumes to me. What chemical/ substance do these contain that causes this please

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    $\begingroup$ How should it taste like? BTW, there will be dozens to hundreds different chemicals, contributing to the smoky smell/taste. $\endgroup$
    – Poutnik
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 9:57
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe you don’t like phenols. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 11:08
  • $\begingroup$ Could be other substances like ketones or carboxylic acids, or a combination. $\endgroup$
    – Karsten
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I wasn’t assuming anything. I know nothing about it, that’s why I asked the question. I don’t have a scientific background hence I came here to find out. Very interesting answers. Thank you all $\endgroup$
    – Jane
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 10:06

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The National Institute of Health has provided a good list of chemicals found in "smoke" flavoring. Here are just a few:

Phenolic compounds
  Phenol
  2-methylphenol
  4-methylphenol
  2-methoxyphenol

Aldehydes and ketones  
  Propanal
  1-hydroxy-2-butanone
  2-methyl-2-cyclopenten-1-one
  1,2-cyclopentanedione
  2,5-hexanedione

Furans and pyrans
  Furan-3-carbaldehyde
  Furan-2-carbaldehyde
  Tetrahydro-2,5-dimethoxyfuran
  1-(2-furanyl)-ethanone
and the list continues ad nauseam...

As to which of these you find objectionable, you'd have to get samples and test-taste (well, test-smell) each. Or you could arrange to be in the lab when these are fractionated, sniffing the output stream of a gas chromatograph, and have the most bothersome analyzed.

De gustibus non est disputandum.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Jane
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Jane If you like this answer, please consider accepting it by clicking on the checkmark. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 4:22

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