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Author Topic: Lemon juice and chili pepper  (Read 7710 times)

Offline nkarkare

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Lemon juice and chili pepper
« on: 21/08/2006 05:10:41 »
Why does adding Lemon juice to a Chili pepper recipe make the dish lesser hot?
Is it because Chili pepper contains Capsaicin, an alkaloid and Lemon juice contains Citric acid, and there is a neutralization reaction?
If yes, then doesnt the reaction result in a salt being produced? Wouldnt that make the dish more salty?

Thanks!


 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: Lemon juice and chili pepper
« Reply #1 on: 21/08/2006 11:26:36 »
When you add a water solution to a meal and then you cook it, the meal's temperature can't increase more than the boiling point of that solution (~ 100C), if this is still present at the end of cooking.
 

Offline rosy

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Re: Lemon juice and chili pepper
« Reply #2 on: 21/08/2006 12:04:17 »
I think what is meant here is "hot" as in spicy, rather than "hot" as in at a high temperature...
I'm afraid I have no ideas at all as to the reason why lemon juice would make the dish milder. This wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsaicin shows the structure of capsaicin, which isn't obviously basic (at least not sufficiently so that I'd expect it to be protonated by citric acid..) so there's no very obvious reaction there.

Even if it did react to make a salt, it wouldn't taste like table salt (sodium chloride) becuse it would have different ions in it.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: Lemon juice and chili pepper
« Reply #3 on: 21/08/2006 15:10:57 »
So, could it depend on a different response from the receptors of "hot" in the tongue, in the presence of lemon juice? For example, after having drunk orange juice, or eaten orange, I feel less the salt in meals.
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Lemon juice and chili pepper
« Reply #4 on: 21/08/2006 15:22:19 »
How bizarre...last night I had chicken chilli and lemon kebabs !!...no..really I did !!.....Ok...just ignore me...but it was only a matter of time before someone mentioned food here in this thread .........and they were very nice too.

I am sure Lightarrow is right though.....about the receptors....I understand that drinking water has virtually nil effect on cooling the mouth from eating a hot curry...and that yoghurty drinks work to counteract the effect remarkably. Could something similar be working here ?

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The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Lemon juice and chili pepper
« Reply #4 on: 21/08/2006 15:22:19 »

 

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