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Why is wasabi spicy?

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Wasabi is spicy due to a chemical called allyl isothiocyanate. This compound reacts with a receptor in the human body which creates the stinging, "spicy" sensation.

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Wasabi contains the compound Allyl Isothiocyanate, or, A I T C. The spiciness can be washed away with foods or beverages containing fats or oils, such as dairy products. A I T C is also present in most mustards, although at lower potency. It's what gives wasabi and mustard their pungent flavor.

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