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Capsaicin:The molecule with Spice (Original)

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Mankrit Sodhi

on 27 November 2011

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Transcript of Capsaicin:The molecule with Spice (Original)

The highest concentration of Capsaicin and source of most of the heat (pungency) is in the peppers' membranes (the fibrous placenta), not the seeds. The placental tissue is the membrane that surrounds the seeds of the pepper. The seeds do absorb some capsaicin from the placental tissues during growth. Seeds in fresh pods absorb hardly any. Pure Capsaicin is a colourless, odourless and crystalline substance. Capsaicin!
The Molecule with Spice The peppers which have the lowest test scores are Mild/Sweet Bells, Pimiento and Sweet Banana at O ppm. The peppers which have the highest test scores are peppers like Hanabanero and Red Savina.
Pure Capsaicin has a test score of 15,000,000-16,000,000 ppm! That's hotter than the hottest of all chilli peppers all combined! The three useful non-food applications of capsaicin are
1. Medical: Capsaicin is currently used in topical ointments to relieve the pain of peripheral neuropathy. But what is Capsaicin?
Where is Capsaicin found in chilli peppers? Various peppers have different intensities of capsaicin. We can measure this by using the Scoville Scale invented by the American pharmacist
Wilbur Scoville in 1912. Now if you were to ever eat one of these hot devils, you will find that only certain solutions can be used to douse the heat. Capsaicin is also useful in areas other than for spicing up the food! So, you decide to order it. To your surprise, one bite of the stuff has set your taste buds on fire and no matter how much water you drink, the sensation lingers. Then you begin to wonder, what exactly is it in these chili peppers that makes them so spicy?
Drinking water is ineffective: Capsaicin is insoluble in water since it is non-polar and water is polar. (It actually makes it burn more!!!) Milk
Cottage cheese
Cold plain yogurt
Sour cream
Ice cream
Sugar water
Alcohol Let's first take a look at its structure. Key Features:
Amino Functional Group
London Bonding Forces
Hydrogen Bonding
Dipole Dipole Forces
Non-Polar Overall
Benzene Ring The chemical formula for Capsaicin is C18H27NO3
The structural formula is as shown on the next slide. The intense flavor results from the molecule's long hydrocarbon tail.
The chain allows it to bind very strongly with its lipoprotein receptor, which has some hydrocarbon side chains of its own (like dissolves like!)
The fatty tail also allows the molecule to slip through lipid-rich cell membranes, making the burn more pervasive and persistent. But did you know that the burning sensation produced by spicy foods and exposure to heat are sensed very similarly? This sends pain signals to other cells in the body. It stimulates the nerve endings, signaling the brain and releases endorphin.
Endorphin is a neurotransmitter released when the body is excited, feeling hot, pain or when eating spicy foods. This is also what happens when cells are exposed to heat. The burning sensation caused by heat and the sensation produced by capsaicin are similar.
In our body there are T receptors in the throat area, mouth and on the tongue that can detect the presence of capsaicin. When capsaicin binds with them, it “unlocks” the cell membrane that permits the transportation of calcium ions to flow into the cell. Fun Fact
Did you know that birds can consume up to 20000 ppm of Capsaicin!!!! This is because their receptors lack the ability to sense capsaicin so they can eat as many peppers as they like! It is
found in chilli peppers, which are added to food to create the "hot and spicy" flavour Non-lethal force: Capsaicin is also the active ingredient in the chemical riot control agent, pepper spray. When the spray comes in contact with skin, especially eyes or mucous membranes, it is very painful (Ouch!) 3. Pest deterrent: Capsaicin is also used to ward off pests. i.e. the use of ground-up or crushed dried chilli pods in birdseed to scare squirrels, since birds are unaffected by capsaicin.
Originally, capsaicin in chilli peppers is supposed to ward off mammals including humans who can destroy their seeds.
Birds swallow the peppers whole so they are unaffected along with the fact that they don't have receptors to sense it. Hence birds are the main distributors of pepper seeds. So next time you see a chilli pepper, or eat a hot, spicy dish, remember that it is all because of the amazing molecule Capsaicin! Thanks for watching. Boring Stuff (Citations) Anonymous I. (2006). Village Garden Web. Village garden web. Retrieved from http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/pepper/2002075348029538.html

Anonymous II. (2005). Diabetes daily. . Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://www.diabetesdaily.com/wiki/Capsaicin

Anonymous III. (2005). chemicaland21.com. . Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://www.chemicaland21.com/lifescience/phar/CAPSAICIN.htm

DeLee, Danielle. (1999). How to Quench the Heat From Capsaicin. . Retrieved February 21, 2011, fromhttp://www.ehow.com/how_7390598_quench-heat-capsaicin.html

Harrison, Karl. (2005). Capsaisin @ 3Dchem.com. Chilli peppers. Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://www.3dchem.com/molecules.asp?ID=105

McMullan, Mark, & Livsey, Julian. (2007). Guide Chili Heat. Guide chilli heat. Retrieved from http://www.thechileman.org/guide_heat.php
Phytochemicals. . Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/capsaicin.php

Scoville, Wilbur. (n.d.). Wilbur Scoville & Pepper Chemistry . . Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://www.g6csy.net/chile/scoville.html

Senese , Fred. (1997). Fire and Spice. Fire and spice. Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/features/capsaicin.shtml

Zhang, Andy, Flickety, , Sondra, C, & , Horses4Ever. (n.d.). How to Cool Burns from Chili Peppers. . Retrieved February 21, 2011, from http://www.wikihow.com/Cool-Burns-from-Chili-Peppers Citiations But have you ever wondered how capsaicin gives the "spicy feeling?" Imagine that you are at a restaurant, looking for something appetizing to eat. As you scan over the delicious dishes listed on the menu, you see that they have a new extra spicy dish on special. It's all because of the wonderful molecule Capsaicin! By : Pooja Nair and Mankrit Kaur But, what makes this molecule produce such a persistent burning sensation? This is because Capsaicin's chemical structure makes the molecule nonpolar overall. Mainly this is because of the long hydrocarbon tail.

The chain enables it to bind strongly with the lipoprotein receptors found in the mouth and on the tongue. These receptors have hydrocarbon side chains too. Therefore they are attracted to each other. The fatty tail also lets the molecule pass through the cell membranes making the burning sensation linger THE END Bad Solution Good Solutions
Thanks to....
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