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Nebraska Department of Education
Nutrition Services
301 Centennial Mall South
PO Box 94987
Lincoln, NE 68509-9487

(800) 731-2233 (Nebraska Only)
or (402) 471-2488
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Child & Adult Care Food Program

Child Caring Online - information about the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Spicy foods - too hot to handle?

When those hot and spicy Mexican, Cajun, and East Indian foods that you love make your mouth feel as though it's on fire, reach for a cool, soothing glass of . . . milk. 

peppersWhen those hot and spicy Mexican, Cajun, and East Indian foods that you love make your mouth feel as though it's on fire, reach for a cool, soothing glass of . . . milk. That's right, milk! It contains a protein, casein, which is particularly effective at washing away the substance in hot peppers that causes the burning sensation.

That hot substance is called capsaicin, and it creates the fiery feeling by binding tightly to taste receptors in the mouth which are connected to nerve endings that send "hot" signals to the brain. The casein in milk, largely by acting like a detergent, literally wipes or strips capsaicin away and stifles the "fire."


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