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Chilli Facts



Here are some interesting facts I have found across the internet and various books about chillis! For more facts check out this book: The Hot Book of Chillies




Psychology - Chillis Make you Happy
Psychologist Paul Rozin suggests that eating chilis is an example of a "constrained risk" like riding a roller coaster, in which extreme sensations like pain and fear can be enjoyed because individuals know that these sensations are not actually harmful. This method lets people experience extreme feelings without any risk of bodily harm. (1) I have read chef Heston Blumenthal gave a volunteer some chilli oil and monitored their brain activity on a CAT scan. It showed the part of the brain which registers heat was right next to the part of the brain which makes us feel happy! (7)

Weaponised Chilli
Chili grenades are a type of non leathal weapons being investigated for use by the Indian Armed Forces
The grenades use the world's spiciest chilli species in weaponized form. The weapon emits a powerful skin and eye irritant as well as pungent smell that causes enemies to leave their cover or become physically overcome by the grenade's load. (2)

Elephant Repellent
Farmers in Africa and on the Indian subcontinent have found the use of chilis effective in crop defense against elephants. The chillis are spread on fences and other structures to keep the elephants away. Because the elephants have a large and sensitive olfactory and nasal system the smell of the chilli causes them discomfort and deters them from feeding on the crops. This can lessen dangerous physical confrontation between people and elephants. (3) They even make sauce from the chillis produced by the plants, click here to see if they have any in stock!

Eat Chilli - Sleep Better!
Researchers in Australia discovered that a group of volunteers fell asleep more easily when they ate food rich in chillies. "They also said they woke better and seemed to have a bit more energy during the day," said lead researcher Andrew Davies, of the University of Tasmania (4)

Cooling the Heat:
Milk products will cool you off after eating chiles because casein, a protein found in dairy products, breaks the bond between the pain receptors in your mouth, throat and stomach and the capsaicinoids in the chille peppers (5). I have also seen interviews with Levi Roots who swears that peanut butter is the best way to curb the heat.

The Chili Pepper Institute!
Did you know that there is an institute dedicaled to the humble chilli pepper!!! see below this quote from their site in the 'about us section'
"The Chile Pepper Institute is an international nonprofit organization devoted to education, research, and archiving information related to Capsicum. Since its inception in 1992, it has been a recognized research institute in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.

The Institute collaborates with the New Mexico State University Chile Breeding and Genetics Program to preserve chile germplasm, of both cultivated and wild species, and to advance the studies of chile pepper diseases. Furthermore, the Institute seeks to be an authorative source of all types of information regarding Capsicum.

The Institute is housed on the main campus of New Mexico State University, in Gerald Thomas Hall room 265, and is officially known as the Chile Pepper Institute Center for Chile Education."
Chilli Exchange Rate:
In early ancient civilizations the Mayan, Inca and Aztec used chile peppers as currency.... I wonder what each chilli would be worth?

Current World Hottest Chilli:


Always lots of discussion around this one, I picked this nice diagram up from the The Chile Pepper Institute showing the current hottest record holder to be the Ghost Chilli. look out for sauces containing this chilli as they mean business! (6) As soon as I wrote this the record has already been broken again check out the NAGA VIPER weighing in at 1,359,000 units!






References:
  1. Paul Rozin1 and Deborah Schiller, Paul; Schiller, Deborah (1980). "The nature and acquisition of a preference for chili pepper by humans". Motivation and Emotion 4 (1): 77–101.
  2. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100323/ap_on_re_as/as_india_chili_grenades
  3. http://web.archive.org/web/20071226181749/www.elephantpepper.org/
  4. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-365281/Eat-chilli-help-sleep.html
  5. The Powerful Health Punch of the Mighty Pod. http://www.fiery_foods.com/dave/health11.html DeWitt, D. 2002.
  6. The Chile Pepper Institute 
  7. http://www.metro.co.uk/ Chef fed chilli in brain experiment

2 comments:

  1. Amazing. I love chillies and I love this website!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great stuff! You should probably update your hottest chilli, as the competition seems pretty hot :-)

    ReplyDelete