Science Questions

Why do my feet smell like corn chips?

Wed, 7th Aug 2013

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jon asked:


My girlfriend wants to know why my feet smell like corn chips. I guess I do, too!







Hannah - Well, itís due to this little bacteria called Brevibacteria which are also use to ripen or mature certain types of cheeses. These Brevibacteria are found on human skin, in a normal kind of way. When they're living in excess, they Bare solesrelease this little chemical called S-methyl thioesters. You may have even noticed that when you've eaten asparagus that your wee smells funny as well and that's because of the release of this chemical called S-methyl thioesters. It smells very pungent. So, the cheese smells cheesy because of this brevi bacteria releasing this S-methyl thioesters as part their normal metabolism. There's Brevibacteria also on our feet and on our skin usually, and kind of the hot weather at the moment is causing an outburst of this Brevibacterium kind of a party on your feet and they're releasing this chemical compound which smells of cheesy corn chips as Tad says.

Dominic - And I guess your feet underneath socks and shoes and so, that sweat isnít drying out, so itís a perfect environment for these bacteria.

Hannah - Exactly, yeah.


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Don't have an answer for that one but it does bring other questions to mind: Is the odor that strong that she detects it while standing next to you or, why would she be finding herself in a position close enough to your feet to smell them?

Another question: You haven't by chance been doing the Mexican Hat Dance while standing in a pile of Fritos have you?

Ask a simple question,.............get a complex answer! Ethos_, Tue, 23rd Jul 2013

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