Trivia

Hard

The Compound In Peppers That Gives Them Their Spicy Kick Is Called?

Satanium
Pepparin
Capsaicin
Scovillian

Answer: Capsaicin

When you eat a chili pepper and get rewarded with a face-flushing burning sensation in your mouth, you can thank the alkaloid compound capsaicin. The compound was first identified in the early 19th century and derives its name from the genus classification for peppers, Capsicum. It’s found in varying concentrations in the different varieties of chili peppers—ranging from just a trace in the mild pepperoncini pepper, popular in Italian cuisine, to so-spicy-they-can-be-dangerous peppers like the ghost pepper that has been specifically cultivated to be hundreds of times hotter than a jalapeno.

Not only does the amount of capsaicin vary wildly between pepper types, it also varies wildly within the peppers themselves. Pepper seeds have no capsaicin at all, the white pith that connects the seeds to the inner wall of the pepper has the highest concentration of capsaicin, and the actual meat of the pepper has a lower concentration than the pith. Given that scientists believe the primary function of the capsaicin is to discourage mammals from eating the peppers and crushing the seeds with their molars (pepper seeds are dispersed predominantly by birds who are not affected by capsaicin and lack molars to damage the seeds), it makes sense that the pepper plant evolved to concentrate the pungent capsaicin around the seeds.

In addition to its wide use as a culinary flavoring agent around the world, capsaicin is used in a wide variety of non-culinary applications such as an irritant in self-defense and crowd control sprays as well as an analgesic for pain control.

Trivia

Very Hard

A Kernel Of Popped Corn Is Known As A?

Trivia

Easy

Which City’s Full Name Is The Longest On Earth?

Trivia

Hard

Early Microchips Included What To Protect Chip Manufacturers?

Trivia

Easy

Mycotoxins Are Toxins Produced By?

Trivia

Easy

What Were Hollywood Set Designers Employed to Camouflage In The 1940s?

Trivia

Easy

The Acid Mixture “Aqua Regia” Derives Its Name From The Ability To Dissolve?

Trivia

Hard

The Most Snake Infested Place On Earth Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Actor Appeared In The Show That Inspired Him To Pursue Acting?

Trivia

Hard

Which Planet Has Mysteriously Hexagonal and High-speed Storm?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Only Moon In Our Solar System That Has A Magnetic Field Is?