Do you know why we feel a burning sensation when we eat chilli peppers? It’s because of the colorless crystalline alkaloid called capsaicin in the chili! Capsaicin is spread throughout the chili but it is concentrated mostly in the placental tissue of the chili.

So how does capsaicin make you feel the burning sensation?  Well, researchers at the University of California found out that capsaicin triggers a nerve ending called VR1, which is the same nerve ending that switches on when we’re feeling heat more than 110 degrees F.

Sources:

http://www.sciensational.com/chemistry.html http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/capsaicin.asp http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/columns/?article=questionmint

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