Published February 26, 2014
Sriracha might be the world’s new favorite condiment -- but it is also a trigger for the hidden masochist in all of us.
According to researchers at the American Chemical Society, the pleasure of eating Sriracha is actually due to the part of the brain that responds to pain.
The famous bright red "rooster sauce," which features ingredients like red chilis, vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar, boats a pain-inducing spiciness that has created a worldwide obsession with the product designed by Vietnamese farmer turned California millionaire David Tran.
In a video released this week, scientists at the American Chemical Society explain the chemical composition of the condiment and just why people go crazy for it.
The pleasure-inducing quality of the sauce is due to a group of molecules inside chili peppers known as capsaicinoids. Sriracha actually has two types of capsaicinoids -- capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin.
When those little capsaicinoids hit our taste buds, they trigger the TRPV1 protein on our tongue and mouth, which then tells the brain that we’ve just tasted something spicy. The brain in turn tells the body to crank out a bunch of pain-killing endorphins, getting the Sriracha-eater high from the body’s natural opiate.
So if you’re one to dose everything Sriracha, you may enjoy pain much more than you think.
Check out the video from the American Chemical Society below: