This is the stuff of pure temptation - that perfect aroma of a potato chip that makes you drool each time you walk past the local hawker! And it's only moments before you give in to those sinful delights! But have you ever wondered what makes that chip smell so heavenly?
Well, food scientists at Leeds University say that a mixture of butterscotch, onion and ironing boards is behind that familiar smell.
The researcher came to this conclusion following a study commissioned by the Potato Council for National Chip Week, which starts today.
They used a process known as gas chromatography mass spectrometry to break down the smell into components, sniffed the smells that could be detected by the human nose, and recorded their type and strength.
"The chip doesn't smell of just chips. One might not expect to find butterscotch or cocoa aromas in chips, but these are just one part of the overall aroma. The aroma is much more complex and probably explains why chips are everyone's favourite," the Mirror quoted lead researcher Dr. Graham Clayton as saying.
"We found lightly cooked or undercooked chips contained three simple aromas like bitter cocoa.
"Extra cooking produced up to nine different aromas," the researcher added.
In their study report, the researcher recorded that chip aroma was made up of butterscotch, cocoa, onion, flowers, cheese and ironing boards.
Dr. Clayton said: "Perhaps these findings will see chips treated like wine in the future, with fans turning into buffs as they impress friends with descriptions of their favourite fries."