Why are Chile Peppers Hot?
The heat in chili peppers is generated by a substance in the interior ribs or strings of the chiles, rather than in the seeds.
Since the seeds are in such proximity with the veins, they carry the essence of hotness. In general, the smaller the pepper, the more potent its "bite".
Peppers which are harvested have often reached their maximum degree of hotness; peppers left on the vine to dry become somewhat sweeter, rather than hotter.
If you find the heat in a particular chili pepper too hot after eating, try a dairy product, like milk, yogurt, or ice cream. Dairy products contain a chemical called caisen that combats the effects of chile peppers' capsicum.
New research indicates that chili pepper plants may have developed their signature heat as a way to fight off fungal infections caused by insects. When insects bite into the flesh of a chili pepper, it provides an entry point for a microbial fungus known as Fusarium that can destroy the pepper plant's seeds.
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