If you were ever wondering how your taste buds actually react to spices? Read this. Why does your mouth feel like its on fire when you eat as spicy pepper, well its on actually tasting the spice like you would taste salty sweet or sour. What’s really happening is that certain compounds in spicy foods activate the type of sensory neurons called poly modal nociceptors and you have these all over your mouth and nose. And they are the same receptors that are activated by extreme heat. so when you eat a chili pepper you mouth feels like its burning when actually your brain just thinks its burning The opposite happens when you eat something with menthol in it, the cool minty compound is activating your cold receptors. When these heat sensitive receptors are activated your body thinks its in contact with a dangerous heat source and reacts accordingly. But you might have noticed that not all spicy foods are spicy in the same way, and the difference lies in the different compounds involved, the capsaicin and piperine found in black pepper and chili peppers are made up of larger heavier molecules called alkyamides and those mostly stay in your mouth. Mustard, horse radish, and wassibi those are made up of smaller molecules called icothiocyanates that easily float up to your sinuses. This is why chili peppers burn your mouth and wassibi burns your nose
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