Most every fiery foods fan knows that it is the chemical called Capsaicin that gives chile peppers a “hot” or “spicy” sensation, and that the amount of Capsaicin present in chile pods (and other things like hot sauce) is measured on the Scoville Scale.
A question I sometimes get asked is, “Scott, is there a way to measure the amount of “heat” or pungency in other “spicy” items like black pepper, ginger, horseradish, garlic, wasabi, mustard, garlic, cinnamon, and onions? Let’s look at these items one by one…
Researchers at New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute have discovered that super-hot chile peppers, those with more than one million Scoville Heat Units, are built differently than other peppers. Unlike regular chile peppers, super-hot peppers make the most of the interior space they have available, which can lead to some serious heat.
“What we were interested in finding was why super-hot chile peppers are able to get that hot,” said Dr. Paul Bosland, an NMSU Regents Professor and director of the university’s Chile Pepper Institute.
According to Bosland, it has been known that a chile pepper’s heat comes from the chemical compound capsaicin, and that capsaicinoids are found in yellow-colored sacs called vesicles. In most chile peppers, the capsaicinoid vesicles are attached to the fruit’s placenta, where the seeds are located.
With super-hot peppers, those sacs are also found on the fruit wall, and in larger quantities. This gives the pepper far more surface area to pack in capsaicinoid vesicles and to turn up the heat. Peter Cooke, with the NMSU Core University Research Resources Laboratory, was able to make the capsaicinoid sacs fluoresce in both jalapeno peppers and Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers and then examined the fruit with university’s electron microscope…
Guess which gender bought that giant bottle of Frank’s RedHot for social approval?
by Carl Williot
Your food choices say a lot about your personality. If you don’t eat meat, then you may be pretty concerned about animal welfare. If you eat protein bars for most meals, then you’re probably serious about the gym. And if you really like spicy foods…?
Well, that depends.
A new study has uncovered how gender and societal expectations may play a role in shaping your spicy food preferences. Earlier this month, researchers from Penn State published findings in the journal Food Quality and Preference that uncovered differences for “the liking and consumption of spicy foods” between men and women.
Specifically, women tend to enjoy the actual sensation it gives them, while men are more influenced by…