Geosmin…

This is the blog “Geosmin…”, here is where we write about soil science. The name of this blog is a word that probably most people do not know. What what is exactly geosmin??

Geosmin was scientifically identified about more than 100 years ago. Geosmin is what you can smell every time after a shower of rain on the ground. It is the “earth smell” that some people, like me, love about rain showers. It is an organic compound with a distinct earthly aroma and flavor.

This is the chemical structure of geosmin. C12H22O. Two linked benzene rings, a couple of methyl groups and a hydroxyl group. This can be seen as mud

Geosmin is produced by microbes. In water it is produced by blue-green algae, and on land bacteria. Geosmin is not only responsible for the earth smell, but also for the muddy “off” taste in some drinking water. The geosmin in drinking water is something that we do not want and therefore purify our water. Wines can also have this muddy smell sometimes. 

I remember when Dr. Pillar told us about this blog he had made called “geosmin”. He thought it was a super cool name and he told us what it meant. Now in the end of the semester I thought of the blog again and I had forgotten what Geosmin meant. It was fun to look up a little bit about it since we only got a very short definition by Dr. Pillar. The most facs I found was about the chemically compound and how geosmin is produced. That geosmin was the subject of both soil smell and taste was interesting.

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One Response to Geosmin…

  1. amynoelsmith says:

    This is a really interesting article. Who knew there was so much to the “earth smell.” Another interesting this about geosmin is it’s actually said to be responsible for the taste of root plants like beets, potatos, and carrots. So if there’s a stronger “earthy smell” the vegetables are most likely going to taste better. Weird how everything connects…Good blog Camilla!

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