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Capsaicin Boosting

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by Chesterton, Jul 29, 2021.

  1. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    I buy these pickled jalapenos pickled in a brine with slices of carrot and onion. I used to throw out the carrot and onion when the peppers were gone, but then I remembered that they are food and I could use them. The jalapeno-infused onion goes well on burgers and tacos and what not, and the carrots are a nice snack by themselves. But the strange thing is, the carrot slices are like 10 times* hotter than the jalapenos themselves. It's as if there's some compound in carrot that boosts the heat sensation of the absorbed capsaicin. Anyone have any info or ideas about this?

    * Not calculated using math.
     
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  2. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Jesus tread the winepress ~ alone Supporter

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    I think it’s in the ratio of sugar to vinegar
     
  3. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Regular Member

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    It could also be based partially on expectations. One expects a jalapeno to be hot. Well, warm actually. But a spicy carrot is almost unheard of.
     
  4. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Can you elaborate?
     
  5. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    Food chemistry, haven't seen anyone here with expertise. I think you need to be looking at solubility and relative human responses to individual molecules. Good luck with this rabbit hole.
     
  6. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    You never know. Years ago I used to ask a lot of food-related questions in here, lol. It's worth a shot. :)
     
  7. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    OK, but let's not go off the rails about the question, I am curious as to the answer too, but if two people argue about the chemistry, it does not reflect on you. You have asked another interesting question. :)
     
  8. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    Why is there a carrot in my jalapeños? - Quora

    "Carrots have a unique capacity to absorb spiciness. For example, if you put sliced carrots into the liquid from pickled jalapenos, the carrots will ‘absorb’ the spiciness, leaving the liquid much milder, while the carrots will become very spicy. I suspect that in early days of pickling jalapenos, the addition of carrots was used to regulate the amount of heat in the pickled peppers.*"

    * Not calculated with science or evidence.
     
  9. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    That doesn't really explain why they get so much spicier than the peppers, but it does lead me to wonder if it's just because of the volume disparity. In each can, the peppers outnumber the carrots, plus each pepper is much bigger than the carrot slices. So you have a relatively small amount of carrot absorbing from a large amount of pepper. Maybe?
     
  10. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    My authoritative source clearly states that carrots have a unique ability to absorb spiceyness. Case Closed.
     
  11. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    Probably not but more to do with the desire to make palatable foodstuffs.
     
  12. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    They have a "unique ability". That's a bit vague. Besides, he works at a cancer institute.
     
  13. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    What?
     
  14. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    Cuisine is about making palatable foodstuffs from the locally available ingredients. Carrots and peppers are generally available in Mexico and other places with similar environments and different foodstuffs add in different ways. You want a more detailed answer, quit JAQing and learn something about food chemistry.
     
  15. Ponderous Curmudgeon

    Ponderous Curmudgeon Well-Known Member

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    BTW, that was a bunch of very bad answers, not much to be said for Quora. :)
     
  16. Tanj

    Tanj Redefined comfortable middle class

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    Well, it's better than the rest of the internet. Quora is the only place attempting to answer these sorts of vital questions.
     
  17. SelfSim

    SelfSim A non "-ist"

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    Hmm .. could be worthy of an Ig Nobel submission, in either Biology or Chemistry categories(?)
     
  18. ~Cassia~

    ~Cassia~ Jesus tread the winepress ~ alone Supporter

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    Oh of course. The compound in peppers binds to pain receptors to create the burning effect. The sugars in carrots increase your blood glucose level and are more prone to oxidative stress. Capsicum contains high levels of phytochemicals which act as powerful antioxidants. These compounds scavenge the harmful free radicals released due to oxidative stress. Stress is bad, calm is good. So the carrots scream louder to call attention to that fact. If you can believe a carrot. hth ;)
     
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  19. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    What do you have against people asking questions? :scratch: Anyway, no I don't need a more detailed answer, your answer's good. The carrots become spicier than the peppers because cuisine is palatable, and Mexico has carrots, or something. That's some solid food chemistry.
     
  20. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Very interesting, thanks.
    I've never been misled by a carrot. It's those radishes you have to keep your eye on.
     
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