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A pungent compound that is extremely irritating to the mucus membranes and eyes of humans and other mammals. Capsaicin is isolated from species of Capsicum, such as paprika and cayenne. It is the primary active ingredient in pepper spray and pepper foam, Capsaicin is so powerful that only trace amounts are needed to be effective. Repeated exposure results in immunity to its painful effects.

Synonyms and Related Terms

pepper spray; pepper foam

Physical and Chemical Properties

Insoluble in cold water. Soluble in alcohol, ether, benzene, chloroform. Slightly soluble in carbon disulfide.

Composition C18H27NO3
CAS 404-86-4
Melting Point 65 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 305.40
Boiling Point 210-220 C