You likely use it on a regular basis to season meals, but have you ever wondered what’s behind the pungency of black pepper? Here’s a short addition to the occasional Everyday Chemicals series which takes a look at the chemical responsible, piperine, and some of its other surprising uses.
This graphic was put together to complement the latest episode of ‘Chemical Dependence’, a relatively new podcast series which takes an easy-to-understand look at the chemistry that surrounds you in short, five minute episodes. Check out their episode on piperine this week, and learn whether pepper was really once worth its weight in gold – and the chemical reason why fresh-ground pepper is better than pre-ground varieties.
Alternatively, if you want to check out some of the chemistry featured in the graphic in a little more detail, there are some useful links below.
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References & Further Reading
- Medicinal uses of pepper – D Majeed & L Prakash
- Piperine, a valuable alkaloid from piper species – K Vasavirama & others
- Black pepper & its physiological effects – K Srinivasan
- Piperine-based phenysulfonylhydrazone derivatives as potent botanically narcotic agents – H Qu & others
- The formation of acrolein in distillary mashes – D E Mills & others