Video: Why it hurts to eat hot peppers

December 1, 2015, American Chemical Society
Credit: The American Chemical Society

You have probably had the burning sensation of eating a jalapeno or other tear-inducing pepper. What causes this painful fire in your mouth? The short answer is capsaicin. But what exactly is capsaicin? How does it work? Why do people drink milk to relieve the pain?

Reactions has the chemistry to answer all of these sizzling questions.

Check it out here before you order those extra chilies:

Explore further: Researchers uncover pain-relief secrets in hot chili peppers

Related Stories

ACS chemistry mavens stir up hot sauce science

February 28, 2014

The chemistry of Sriracha or "rooster" sauce joins the list of topics of interest for the American Chemical Society, which recently delivered a "Reactions" video on the sauce. Huy Fong Foods' Sriracha sauce has attracted ...

Treating pain by blocking the 'chili-pepper receptor'

August 20, 2014

Biting into a chili pepper causes a burning spiciness that is irresistible to some, but intolerable to others. Scientists exploring the chili pepper's effect are using their findings to develop a new drug candidate for many ...

Eat spicy, live longer? Study says yes

September 18, 2015

Like a fiery finish to dinner? Then you'll be glad to know that a recent study suggests people who eat hot, spicy foods regularly may live longer.

Recommended for you

Producing defectless metal crystals of unprecedented size

October 19, 2018

A research group at the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), has published an article in Science describing a new method to convert inexpensive polycrystalline metal ...

Nanodiamonds as photocatalysts

October 19, 2018

Climate change is in full swing and will continue unabated as long as CO2 emissions continue. One possible solution is to return CO2 to the energy cycle: CO2 could be processed with water into methanol, a fuel that can be ...

Shining light on the separation of rare earth metals

October 18, 2018

Inside smartphones and computer displays are metals known as the rare earths. Mining and purifying these metals involves waste- and energy-intense processes. Better processes are needed. Previous work has shown that specific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.