Capsaicin facts for kids
Capsaicin is a chemical substance. It is responsible for the sense of spiciness or hotness found in chili peppers. In mammals, it causes a sensation of burning of the tissues it comes in contact with. Capsaicin, and other similar substances called capsaicinoids are produced by chili peppers and other plants, probably as a protection against being eaten. Pure capsaicin is a hydrophobic, colorless, odorless, crystalline to waxy compound.
Capsaicinoids are added to food to make it have a hot taste, but it can also be used as an analgesic, a painkiller. Such painkillers are often directly used on the skin. The burning of the capsaicin will mask the real pain. Capsaicin is also the main agent in pepper spray.
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Capsaicin Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.