Recently we've noticed a horrible smell coming from our bread. All the bread we have purchased, including hot dog and hamburger buns, have all not just had a moldy, wet, rotten smell, but also tasted just as bad. The brands have been different and came from different stores. We just moved into a new place and thought it might be something used on our counter tops. But even moving the bread into the refrigerator didn't improve the situation. This never happened at our old place. And it's only noticeable to three of us in the home--our oldest daughter is not smelling or tasting anything funny.

  • 2
    Could you elaborate a little more, pictures for that matter brand and type of bread you are using please. Jun 24 '18 at 15:56
  • It's the generic store brand at Kroeger, Wal-Mart and Food City. But it also happened with Wonder white. It's happened with both white and wheat.
    – Julianna B
    Jun 25 '18 at 23:16
  • 4
    What happens if you buy some bread and taste it as soon as you leave the store?
    – Chris H
    Nov 15 '18 at 9:45
  • 1
    Expanding on @ChrisH's suggestion, see if you have a store around you that will allow you to taste bread before leaving the store (sample trays, stores like Trader Joe's that are amenable to sampling, etc). Then you'll know for sure if it's the bread or if it's you.
    – Allison C
    Nov 15 '18 at 13:54
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    Besides what Chris H asked (smelling/tasting before you get it home), is this happening immediately after you get home, or does it take a day or two? (if the second one, you might have some sort of wild mold in the place). If that's the case, you might be able to get a mold test kit at a local hardware store (or online)
    – Joe
    Nov 24 '18 at 0:04

I had similar issues with a horrible chemical smell no matter what brand I purchased. A friend suggested fresh baked as an alternative. Really simple and it solved my issues.


I know exactly what you mean. The diversity of that chemical smell in commercial wheat flour products is expanding. It does not occur in small bakery goods or homemade breads or in commercially produced flour tortillas.

Yet I've found it goes away when heating breads or buns in a skillet, also not everyone can smell the chemicals so maybe in just more sensitive to it than others.

I believe it is a preservative/additive. I intend to list the ingredients in products I smell it in and compare it with those that I don't and see if I can correlate the cause.

It is not because the bread is going bad because over the last few years and from many different chain stores in different states 100's of miles apart I've found the smell in fresh packaged commercially produced goods to include Walmart, Kroger, IGA, County Market, Aldi.


Some people have a higher tolerance to food tastes your bread might just be going bad before you eat it, try storing the breads in air tight bags or boxes


I just made rye bread two days ago. I put the loaves in plastic bags and left them open. They were very moist and tasted good. I closed the one I'd cut from. Today it smells strongly of acetone. The other loaf doesn't. It's the moisture and yeast feeding on the bread, like in sourdough starter. Leaving it out to see if it stops.

The acetone smell is caused by moisture in the bread keeping yeast alive searching for food. It is eating the bread.

  • 1
    Can you please include link to an online reference that explains (and supports) this as an answer? It's sounds very scientific, but what causes it and how can it be prevented or handled so that it doesn't happen again?
    – elbrant
    Feb 22 '19 at 1:15
  • Jana, welcome! Please edit your posts instead of adding a second one elaborating further. Stack Exchange is different from the average web forums you may be familiar with. I recommend the tour and browsing our help center, especially How to Answer to learn more about how the site works. Also, the asker is talking about a moldy smell and taste, not acetone. Do you think your answer still fits? Please clarify, thanks.
    – Stephie
    Feb 22 '19 at 9:08
  • Any yeast used in making bread is killed during baking so your statement of yeast feeding on the bread cannot be true.
    – Rob
    Feb 22 '19 at 13:11

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