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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The chemistry behind a pepper’s heat



Find out why peppers are hot
When cooking with hot peppers, most recipes will instruct you to take out the seeds. This might cut down on the tough and tasteless parts of your meal, but it won't do much to reduce the pepper's heat. That's because the heat isn't in the seeds; it's in the white tissue or pith inside the pepper, also known as the placenta. This is where you can find the glands that produce capsaicin, a colorless, waxy chemical that binds to receptors in your mouth to produce the sensation of heat. Though capsaicin may coat some of the seeds while they're in contact with the placenta, the seeds aren't spicy on their own. Deseeding a pepper is still a good idea if you want to cut down on its spiciness, just as long as you go the extra mile and remove the white part too