Does Fermentation Makes Peppers Hotter?

Have you ever tried to make your hot sauce or peppers at home? If that’s the case, you know how the taste of peppers can be changed by fermentation.

In comparison to regular hot peppers or hot sauce, which can hit you in the face with heat, you get more of an umami flavor, which tastes more subtle in comparison to regular hot peppers or hot sauce.

Is it possible that peppers are hotter as a result of fermentation?

The answer is not what you think. It causes peppers or hot sauce to lose some of their heat.

Fermentation makes peppers cooler. 

It causes peppers to lose some of their heat due to changes in the capsaicin (the compound that makes peppers hot) levels.

 It is more likely to find fermented peppers that have been refrigerated or frozen.

What Makes Peppers Hot?

The heat in peppers is caused by a substance called capsaicin. After being isolated from chili peppers, Capsaicin was first discovered.

Capsaicin is mostly found in the fruit of the pepper, but it can also be found in the leaves and stems of the pepper plant.

The spicier the pepper is, the more capsaicin it has. A scale called the Scoville Scale is used to rank hot peppers and hot sauces.

The concentration of capsaicin in the pepper or hot sauce can be correlated with the Scoville Scale.

The hotter a pepper is, the higher it is on the Scoville scale. A lot of irritation and burning can be caused by coming into contact with capsaicin.


You might have experienced this when cooking peppers at home. If you touched your face or eyes, you could feel the burn from your fingers.

Can you tell me about the use of capsaicin to treat pain? Capsaicin cream can be used to treat minor pains in the joints.

The hotter the peppers get, the longer they stay on the vine.

As the peppers age on the vine, they produce more capsaicin, which causes the spice level to change and the color to change too.

When hot peppers are green, they will turn into yellow, orange, or red as they mature. They are usually picked from the vine at this time of year.

The Jalapenos are not an exception.

When you buy them in the store, they are usually green, but if you allow them to grow on the vine, they turn red. They are extra spicy when you know about it.

What Happens to Peppers When They Are Fermented?

A chemical process that is conducted by organisms is called Fermentation.

If you want to make a safe food product, you want to keep the bad bacteria that will make you sick and the good bacteria that will conduct the fermentation.

If you want to keep the bad bacteria out, you can create an environment without any oxygen. How do you create an environment that is free of pollutants?

You need a container like a jar and a medium like salt brine solution to ferment in.

Good bacteria like lactobacillus can thrive in an environment that is not hospitable to them.

When peppers are placed in an airtight container with a teaspoon of salt plus water solution, these and other similar bacteria and yeast consume the sugars in the peppers and then convert them to acid.

This is the way peppers are prepared. Is it possible that hot peppers can be influenced by fermentation?

Scoville scale

Is It Possible That Fermentation Makes Peppers Hotter Over Time?

The peppers are less hot because of the fermentation.

Fermented hot sauce is milder than regular hot sauce, but has more complex flavors, especially if you are making it in oak barrels.

The loss of heat is most likely because the peppers are being broken down by the yeast and bacteria.

Fermenters will use hotter peppers if they want to keep things hot and spicy or use more mature peppers that have more capsaicin in them if they want to ferment hot sauce at home.

If you are trying to reduce the heat, removing the inner part of the pepper is a good idea.

Adding sugar and smoking peppers are some of the tricks that can be done. You can ferment your peppers in honey as well.


The culprit is Capsaicin, which makes peppers pack their punch. The process of fermentation mellows out the level of heat when compared to regular peppers and hot sauces.

Don’t let that fool you because you can still make some pretty spicy peppers and hot sauces.

If you want something spicier or less spicy, follow my tips in this article when making these yourself.

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