what is it in milk that stops your mouth burning from spicy foods?

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Drinking milk after eating chilli or curry etc makes your mouth hurt less. But why? And are there any dairy free alternatives that do the same?

In: Chemistry

12 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chillis that create the spicy sensation on your tongue. It doesn’t easily mix with water so it’s very hard to wash off.

Milk contains another chemical called casein that binds with capsaicin and helps wash it off your tongue.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Casein (a protein) in milk helps breakdown the spicy chemical (capsaicin) bonds. It’s like when soap sticks to dirt so that it’s easier to wash your hands.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I have read that fat will help. Maybe some bacon afterwards? 👀

Anonymous 0 Comments

Lactose in the milk allows the capsaicin oil to desolve in the water. It acts as a emulsifier.

Anonymous 0 Comments

For a non-dairy alternative, you can try crunchy peanut butter. The texture can help distract the nerves that are feeling the burning sensation, and the oils can dissolve and wash away the capsaicin.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In addition to the casein, milk contains fats, capsaicin is lipophilic meaning it likes to mix with fats. Milk is a relatively watery substance that allows the capsaicin to bind to the casein, and be washed away by the fats making it an all around spice killer

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s the fat in milk that dissolves the capsicum. Capsicum and hot spiciness is oil-soluble, not water soluble. Olive oil would do the same, it just doesn’t taste as good as taking a drink of milk.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The two fastest acting ways to settle the burn is sugar and citrus. Eat something sweet like a spoonful of honey or maple syrup or suck on a lime wedge. Milk does work but takes longer.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In addition to other comments it does contain cold. Capsaicin interacts with the temperature sensors on your tongue, so anything cold will provide temporary relief. Most folks store their milk in the refrigerator but might not have fridge cold water or other drinks.

Also, capsaicin is basic and milk is slightly acidic. This means milk can have a small effect on the shape of capsaicin protein molecules this changing its properties. As milk is very slightly acidic this is not a strong effect, but it explains why other more acidic foods are paired with spice (beer, soda, margaritas).

Anonymous 0 Comments

It works for your butt hole too …. Trust me just dab a little down there and you will be good to go …. I know I know I know it sounds crazy just trust I have been there done that.