Give Now  »

Noon Edition

Chili Vs. Other Flavors

red peppers

Don't like spicy food? Next time someone makes fun of you for not being able to handle the heat, tell them you're a flavor connoisseur.

Spicing Things Up

In a series of rather painful tests, scientists have proven that chili suppresses one's ability to experience certain flavors. Capsaicin, a chemical in chili, seems to affect one's ability to taste sourness, sweetness and bitterness.

But just because your friends are pouring on the hot stuff, they aren't necessarily missing out on the full flavoring of their meals. While capsaicin does affect one's ability to taste certain flavors, cooks often strategically use chili to reduce the bitterness of certain foods, and thus enhance a dish's taste.

Read More:

"Too Much Chili Burns Out Flavor" (Science Daily)

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science