UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Why chilly tastes bitter?
Answer 1:

Some chilli tastes bitter because of the peppers that are used in the recipe for many types of chilli. The peppers taste bitter to us because they have chemicals that trigger our "bitter taste receptors" in our mouths. These taste receptors are basically proteins embedded in the membranes of cells in our mouths. The receptors are meant to bind to certain chemicals, called "ligands."


Answer 2:

Chillies contain poisons that are meant to discourage the wrong animals from eating them. These poisons are also responsible for the heat. However, in small doses, we humans can deal with the poisons.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use