Like many spice junkies, Marco Tizzano, an investigator at the Monell Chemical Senses center, once believed he could develop a tolerance to the burning, painful sensations generated by eating chilis. But as a chef and researcher in chemosensory sensations, he now knows better. Tizzano explains how capsaicin creates a chemical cascade inside your body and why emotions might make chili lovers think they can handle the heat.
Produced by Luke Groskin
Music by Audio Network
Additional stills by Shutterstock
Special Thanks to Marco Tizzano, Leslie Stein and the brave staff of Science Friday