The Chemistry of Sriracha & What Sets Your Mouth Aflame

If you head over to the Huy Fong Foods web site, they’ll tell you that Sriracha, their ever-pop­u­lar Thai condi­ment, is “made from sun ripen chilies which are ground into a smooth paste along with gar­lic and pack­aged in a con­ve­nient squeeze bot­tle.” It’s the chilies that make your mouth burn when you pour that Sriracha onto your eggs or burg­ers, or in your soup and, yes, cock­tails. But if you want to get sci­en­tif­ic about things, it’s actu­al­ly the cap­saicin and dihy­dro­cap­saicin — the two com­pounds inside the hot pep­pers — that set your mouth aflame.  All of this, and more, gets cov­ered by this new video, The Chem­istry of Sriracha, from the Amer­i­can Chem­i­cal Soci­ety. It’s part of their video series, Reac­tions, that exam­ines the chem­istry of every­day things.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.