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Why does mint have a "cool" taste? Is there a solid in the candy that is melting, which uses heat from your body for the phase change?
Question Date: 2000-03-10
Answer 1:

I talked about the cool taste with some of the guys (including women) from the physics circus here at UCSB, and we're guessing you're on the right track with that one - but it might be the other phase change: menthol is a cooling ingredient, and it probably cools by evaporation? ... Do you have a Merck Index? My Merck Index says menthol boils at 212 deg. C, but it melts at 41-43 deg. C, which is near body temperature, so your theory may be the correct one.

Answer 2:

I don't really know the answer to this one but I'm sure it's not a phase change.Just a chemical interaction with the taste buds of some sort. Why do you think hot peppers are hot?

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