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How to neutralize hot spices

Plamena M.Plamena M.
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Pungent tastes add and personality to food and are an important ingredient in the cuisine of many cultures. If you decide to give striking force to your food by adding some chopped peppers or cayenne pepper powder, prepare for serious heat. Too many of these herbs can cause an uncomfortable burning sensation in the mouth and tongue. This can be offset by other foods. Sugars, acids and dairy products are ideal for soothing heat and preventing the pungent tastes from burning you.

Maybe you like spicy food, but sometimes too much chilly causes uncontrollable burning in your mouth. Sipping ice water helps for a moment - just one second after, the fiery sensations return with the same force. Hot food take their intensity from a substance called capsaicin. Only a few things can help to neutralize the capsaicin - water is not one of them.

Hot peppers


Capsaicin is an alkaloid oil and is available in different levels, depending on the chilly, used to make food. Your tolerance to it is a very individual thing. The seeds and white membrane of peppers contain the highest concentration of this pungent substance. The burning sensation in what feels pungent does not do any physical harm, but there is intense pain to be felt, as it causes a chemical reaction in your nerve system.


Dairy products

Dairy products can tone down the feeling of hotness in your mouth. A glass of milk is an antidote that can often be used if you eat too much spicy food. Cultures that use lots of peppers in their food include dairy products in recipes, to help keep the heat less intense. One of the proteins in dairy products called casein helps to break the bonds of capsaicin.



Capsaicin can also be neutralized by alcohol, but a cold beer is not the answer. Drinking cold beer will set you free for a moment, but the heat wave will return. A study presented in the 1990 edition of the "Journal of physiology and behavior, " found that drinks with five percent ethanol work better than cold water to neutralize the heat of peppers. Drinks like hot brandy only increase the extent and concentration of the heat. Your alcoholic beverages should not be warm.



Sugar is a way of coping. The amount of sugar you need depends on how strong the pepper you eat is. The combination of sugar and dairy products is used in the manufacture of ice cream, flan or pudding - they can be a very effective way to neutralize the heat.

Other "antidotes"

Acids such as lemon juice, tomato juice, etc. can help to relieve the burning sensations in your mouth. Most cultures include these elements, such as curry, to help balance the heat. Fatty foods can also be linked to neutralizing capsaicin faster. You could try peanut butter, or bread soaked in butter, if you can’t quickly find milk or scotch nearby.