Why Do Banana Chips Smell Bad?

Have you ever opened a bag of banana chips to discover a strange, unpleasant odor? Then you are not alone! Many individuals have wondered why do banana chips smell bad.

Due to the sulfur dioxide gas used to preserve and bleach banana chips during the manufacturing process, banana chips frequently have a strange, unpleasant odor. This gas can also impart a bitter flavor to the chips.

Read this article to discover the surprising explanation for this phenomenon below.

What are Banana Chips?

Before we dive into the scent of banana chips, let’s first define what they are. Banana chips are thin slices of bananas that have been dried and sometimes fried or baked.

They are a popular snack in many parts of the world and are often served as a side dish or garnish in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Banana chips can be made from ripe or unripe bananas, and they can be flavored with a variety of seasonings such as honey, cinnamon, and coconut. They are also often coated in sugar or honey to give them a sweet taste.

Read Also: Why Do Bananas Grow Upwards?

The Role of Volatile Compounds in the Smell of Banana Chips

So, what gives banana chips their distinctive smell? The answer lies in the volatile compounds present in the fruit. Volatile compounds are molecules that can easily evaporate and give off an aroma.

When it comes to bananas, the most important volatile compound is a chemical called isoamyl acetate. This compound is responsible for the banana-like aroma of ripe bananas, and it’s also present in banana chips. Isoamyl acetate is produced during the ripening process, which is why ripe bananas have a stronger, more distinct smell than unripe ones.

Other volatile compounds that contribute to the smell of banana chips include acetone, acetaldehyde, and ethanol. These compounds are produced when the bananas are fried or baked, and they contribute to the pungent aroma of the chips.

Smell of Banana Chips

The Perception of Smell is Subjective

It’s important to note that the perception of smell is subjective, meaning that different people will experience and interpret an aroma differently. This is why some people love the smell of banana chips while others find it unpleasant.

Factors that can influence our perception of smell include our personal experiences and associations with a particular scent, as well as our cultural and genetic backgrounds. For example, if you grew up eating banana chips as a snack and have positive associations with them, you might find the smell pleasing.

On the other hand, if you’ve had negative experiences with banana chips or simply don’t like the taste, you might find the smell unappealing.

The Smell of Banana Chips Can Change Over Time

Another factor that can affect the smell of banana chips is the length of time they’ve been stored. As banana chips age, the volatile compounds that give them their aroma can break down and change, resulting in a different smell.

For example, if banana chips have been stored for a long time or exposed to heat or sunlight, the isoamyl acetate and other volatile compounds may break down and produce off odors. This can result in a stale or musty smell, which can be unappealing to some people.

How to Store Banana Chips to Minimize Odors?

If you want to minimize the pungent aroma of banana chips, there are a few things you can do to store them properly.

Here are some tips:

  • Keep banana chips in an airtight container: By sealing the chips in an airtight container, you can prevent the volatile compounds from evaporating and causing a strong aroma.
  • Store banana chips in a cool, dry place: Heat and humidity can cause the volatile compounds in banana chips to break down, resulting in a change in smell. To minimize this effect, store your banana chips in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
  • Eat banana chips within a few days of opening: The fresher the banana chips, the less likely they are to have a stale or musty smell. If you’re not planning on eating the entire bag of chips in one sitting, it’s best to transfer a portion of the chips to a smaller container and seal it tightly to keep them fresh.

Read Also: Why Do Banana Peels Turn Brown After Opening?


The strong, pungent aroma of banana chips is due to the volatile compounds present in the fruit, including isoamyl acetate, acetone, acetaldehyde, and ethanol.

These compounds can break down over time and produce off odors, which can change the smell of the chips. The perception of smell is subjective, so while some people may find the aroma of banana chips appealing, others may find it unpleasant.

To minimize any unwanted odors, it’s important to store banana chips in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and eat them within a few days of opening.

FAQs | Banana Chips Smell Bad

Here are a few questions that are asked by many people around the world:

What Is The Cause Of The Bad Smell Of Banana Chips?

The bad smell in banana chips is caused by the sulfur dioxide gas that is used to preserve and bleach the chips during the manufacturing process. This gas can also give the chips a bitter taste.

Are All Brands Of Banana Chips Smelly?

Not all brands of banana chips have a bad smell. Some brands may use different preservation techniques or omit the use of sulfur dioxide, which can result in less of an off-putting smell and taste.

Is It Safe To Eat Banana Chips That Smell Bad?

Although the smell of banana chips may be unpleasant, the chips are generally safe to eat as long as they have been properly stored and have not spoiled.
However, the sulfur dioxide used in the preservation process can cause gastrointestinal issues in some people, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Can The Smell Of Banana Chips Be Removed?

It is not possible to completely remove the smell of banana chips, as it is a result of the preservation process used during manufacturing.
However, some people have had success in reducing the intensity of the smell by rinsing the chips in cold water before consuming them.

Are There Any Alternatives To Banana Chips That Don’t Have A Bad Smell?

There are many alternatives to banana chips that do not have a bad smell, such as dried fruit or baked fruit chips.
These options may not have the same texture as traditional banana chips, but they can be a tasty and healthier alternative.