Intellectual Nourishment

The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing, someone else does.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hot Pepper Research

By Sara Laub
After having an experience with hot peppers this year and not necessarily knowing completely how to treat pepper burns, I took some time to do some research. Sometimes misunderstandings happen with who put the hot peppers verses the mild peppers on which cutting board. The creeping sensation of an eye progressing to burn is not an experience I would wish on anyone.
What Are the Treatments for Hot Pepper Burns?
By Athena Hessong, eHow Contributor
Peppers grow in thousands of different shapes, sizes and heat levels. For some, the hotter the pepper the better. Chili heads may love to singe their taste buds with that heat, but some people want the burn to stop as soon as possible. Hot pepper burns occur both in the mouth and on the skin, a result of capsicum in the peppers. The sooner the treatment starts to remove the burning capsicum, the faster the relief comes.
Skin Burns
Prevent burning the skin by wearing gloves when cutting and handling hot peppers. If you get a burn anyway, cover the area with vegetable oil for an hour, if possible. Another method involves washing the skin with rubbing alcohol immediately. Follow with a coating of milk or vegetable oil.
Mouth Burns
Avoid drinking plain water to relieve hot pepper mouth burns. The water moves the pepper oil throughout the mouth, but it does not dissolve it. This makes the heat seem worse. Drink something with alcohol in it instead. The alcohol will dissolve the pepper oil. Non-drinkers can try milk, yogurt, ice cream or a spoonful of sugar. The caisen in the dairy products prevents the taste receptors from perceiving the capsicum in the pepper oil. The capsicum is the culprit causing the burning sensation.
Eye Burns
Cry. The eye's natural tears most effectively flush out the pepper burn. If tear production isn't enough, use saline eye drops or a plain water rinse to wash out the pepper oil. (
What is Capsicum? Capsaicin is what puts the heat or pungency in chiles. It is a compound that is insoluble in water, tasteless and odorless. It is made of seven closely related alkaloid or capsaicinoids. Three of these components cause the “rapid bite” at the back of the palate and throat and two others cause the long, slow burn on the tongue. Capsaicin is produced and found in the placental partition (“white” cross wall and veins) of the pod. The seeds become pungent through contact with the placenta. (
It is an irritant for mammals, including humans, and produces a sensation of burning in any tissue with which it comes into contact. (

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