This just happened to me over the weekend while I was seasoning some delicious filets to cook on the grill. While hitting them with some sea salt and black pepper I was immediately caught off guard with a sneezing fit from the pepper. Why does this happen EVERY time?!
I found out…
Because the chemical piperine, an irritant, gets into the nose.
A sneeze is a reflex that is triggered when nerve endings inside the mucous membrane of the nose are stimulated.Pepper, be it white, black, or green, contains an alkaloid of pyridine called piperine. Piperine acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose. It stimulates (or irritates) the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane. This stimulation will cause you to sneeze. Actually, the nose wants to kick out this irritant and the only way it knows how to do this is by sneezing
There ya go… another Mundane Mystery, solved!
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