# The Smell of Hot Sizzling Food Reaches you Several Meters Away, But to get the Smell of Cold Food you have to go Close. Explain

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

The smell of hot sizzling food reaches us from several meters away because the heat increases the rate of evaporation of volatile compounds, releasing more scent molecules into the air. On the other hand, the smell of cold food is not as easily detected because the lower temperature reduces the rate of evaporation, limiting the release of scent molecules into the air. Hence, we have to go close to smell the aroma of cold food. Kinetic Energy plays a huge role in this situation. Let’s understand how.

## Smell of Hot Food Reaches Far Away and Not Cold Food

When food is heated, the molecules within it gain energy and begin to move more rapidly as they have high Kinetic energy. This increased movement leads to an increase in the rate of evaporation of volatile compounds present in the food, which are responsible for its aroma. As a result, the scent molecules are released into the surrounding air more readily, allowing us to detect the smell even from several meters away.

In contrast, when food is cold, the molecules within it have less Kinetic energy and move at a slower pace. As molecular activity decreases, the rate of evaporation of volatile compounds slows down, making it more challenging for scent molecules to be released into the air. Therefore, the smell of cold food remains confined to its immediate vicinity, and one must be in close proximity to smell it.

## What is Kinetic Energy?

Kinetic energy is a form of energy associated with the movement of objects or particles. It is a fundamental concept in physics that describes the energy an object possesses due to its motion. Kinetic energy depends on both the mass and velocity of an object. Understanding kinetic energy is essential in various scientific fields, including mechanics, thermodynamics, and engineering.

The formula for kinetic energy is: Kinetic Energy (KE) = 1/2 * mass * velocity^2

Summary:

## The Smell of Hot Sizzling Food Reaches you Several Meters Away, But to get the Smell of Cold Food you have to go Close. Explain

We can smell hot sizzling food from several meters away but have to go close to smell the cold food because the increased kinetic energy of its molecules accelerates the rate of evaporation of volatile compounds. This results in the release of scent molecules that can travel a greater distance. In contrast, cold food is less noticeable because the lower temperature slows down evaporation, resulting in fewer scent molecules being released into the air.

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