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DR. NESHEIM: Questions for Dr. Green?
PARTICIPANT: The point of the distinction of sour and sweet from pain was illustrated by comments from a number of soldiers about the hot sauce they were provided. They liked the hot sauce very much but many of them thought it was too sour. They didn't like the vinegar in it and they asked for just dry red pepper, as an alternative to the hot sauce.
DR. GREEN: Cayenne is basically capsaicin, and although it does have flavor components, one of the interesting things about capsaicin is that it has virtually no taste. It is therefore an ideal food additive, in that sense, because you can add a sensory dimension without also adding possibly negative flavors—like sourness.
PARTICIPANT: Are there individuals who are particularly sensitive to some of these food additives? Some people tell me that they are sensitive to pepper, for example. Is there a danger if we cook these items in the food rather than let the individual add it to the food that people many not like the food?
DR. GREEN: Absolutely. We see it in the laboratory. That is one of the difficulties in studying capsaicin. There are large individual differences in the tolerance and their liking capsaicin.
Some people come into the lab eager to be tested; others won't agree to do the study even for pay because they simply don't eat hot and spicy foods.
So yes, I think including capsaicin or cayenne as something that could be added to the food rather than already in the food is critical.
I also think the ability to have control over a flavor component may also be very important in fighting the monotony issue.
PARTICIPANT: Are you saying, then, with menthol you would have a similar figure that indicated people perceived greater coolness as temperature decreased?
DR. GREEN: Yes, we have done those studies. The difference in the