: a volatile, organic compound C12H22O that is formed especially by soil-dwelling bacteria (such as streptomyces) and aquatic cyanobacteria and that may contribute to the earthy, pleasant odor of petrichor or impart a disagreeable, musty taste and odor to drinking water and certain fish
In the test kitchen, we too have noticed a mysterious muddy flavor in some catfish and tilapia. … When the fish swim in the geosmin-rich water, they consume the compound as they ingest the algae.—Cook's Illustrated Geosmin can be detected by a human nose at miniscule concentrations, as low as just a few parts per trillion, [Kelley Dearing] Smith said.—James Bruggers
Geosmin is a tertiary alcohol having a hydroxyl group (-OH) attached to a carbon atom that has three other carbon atoms attached to it.
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!