For those people who never ate durian, it’s a spikey green fruit native to Southeast Asia, with a hard outer shell, and soft yellow meat inside. That’s true that it smells like trash that’s been left out in the sun too long, but for people who ate this, it tastes divine. Creamy in texture, nothing like its scent hints it will taste. Durian’s smell is highly pungent (it’s banned on the Singapore’s public transit system). But do you know, where does that smell actually come from? Well a team of scientist researched the fruit’s genome to find out.

A study last year in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry identified the different chemical compounds in durian that give it such a distinct scent. In this study, researchers were actually able to find the source of the smell in the fruit’s DNA. They were also able to determine that durian is related to cocoa.

According to Popular Science , durian has multiple copies of the genes that are “responsible for creating sulfuric compounds.” Its DNA is focused on creating its distinctive scent. And this smell is very beneficial for fruit. In the study, the scientists speculate that the smell attracts primates, which disperse its seeds as they eat it.

Culinary News

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