WHAT causes this smell?

arlinekAugust 31, 2011

I've searched and searched and can't find the answer. SOME brands of yellow corn tortillas have a very strong, offensive odor - similar to ammonia. I've been told it's not the white corn ones, only the yellow. I even called a company that had it in theirs and he briefly explained that normally only "high-ql'ty" ones have this but I didn't get "why". They both (white and yellow) clearly have lime in them but why don't ALL yellow corn tortillas have this odor? It's so bad that we cannot eat them or even get near the package if it's one of "those".

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pris

You're not going to like this answer. That taste (or smell) your getting is lye. Don't hold my feet to the fire, but, I vaguely remember something about lye being used in processing the corn. Maybe someone else can enlighten us on the subnject.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 12:31PM
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arlinek

Bumping this back up ...

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:30AM
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centralcacyclist

"My grandparents own a tortilla manufacturing company and I know from experience and personally preparing the mixes that the bleach smell comes from a dough conditioner called PZ-44. It's used to make the dough more pliable and easy to work with."

Did you find this answer? And the link below. Maybe this is why.

Here is a link that might be useful: PZ-44

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 5:05AM
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jojoco

Many years ago I lived in Ireland for most of my junior year in college. I lived on brown bread. The recipe was disarmingly simple (can't remember it now), but when I made it at home, back in CT, it reeked of ammonia. I never tried again.

Jo

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:40AM
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jessyf

Jo, welcome back.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 7:51PM
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jasdip

I bought a box of El Paso taco shells once, opened them up and threw them out immediately. They smelled awful....so artificial, and chemically.

I had a store-brand box in the cupboard and they have no smell at all. Not only cheaper, but better tasting.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:09PM
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arlinek

For clarification, Jasdip, et al: I'm only referring to FRESH ones. Sorry didn't think to mention that. Will ck. your link, Barnmom; thanks.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 4:07PM
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jasdip

Oh, sorry arlinek. I mis-read. I was talking about the taco shells. And boy do they ever stink. Probably the same effect as the fresh tortillas.

I haven't noticed any smell with my tortillas that I use....again, just a no-name, store brand. I'll be watching though!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 8:33AM
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Fori is not pleased

The lime in tortillas isn't citrus lime, it's mineral lime, calcium hydroxide. It can be a bit uhhh tangy? I don't know why some smell more than others.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:11PM
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centralcacyclist

I think it's a dough conditioner. Not the one I listed but ammonium sulfate used as a dough conditioner. It says it has no odor but how can that be?

Here is a link that might be useful: Food additives.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:54PM
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