Agilent Helps Uncover Vegemite Mystique

Vegemite, the Australian food paste made from yeast extract is a delicacy to some and an oddity to others.  The brown-colored spread, made from brewers’ yeast extract, was immortalized by the rock group, Men at Work, in their 1980s hit, “Down Under.”

The Vegemite aroma is distinct and has generally defied description, until a recent study by Renée Webster, a doctoral candidate at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, who analyzed Vegemite to determine the chemical components of its odor. 

Webster conducted her research with the aid of Agilent’s 7890 GC with a 5975 MSD, using the gas chromatograph to separate Vegemite’s more than three dozen volatile compounds that make up its unique smell.  She then identified each compound using the mass spectrometer.


For more information go to:

Agilent Gas Chromatography  7890B GC 

Agilent Mass Spectrometry  5977A Series GC/MSD System 

The smell of Vegemite explained

“Down Under” music video