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September Joint Meeting with ACS - Chemistry of Capsaicin

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 6:00pm-9:00pm EDT
Event format: 
In-Person / Local
Posted by Kaara Anderson
1621 Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN
United States

Free Parking at White Hall after 5 pm



Please make your reservations by noon Monday September 16.



Register through Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chili-peppers-the-chemistry-of-capsaicin-tickets-72099241773

or contact Paul Taylor, taylorpa@ornl.gov, (865) 574-1965

or Sarah Humphries, shumphr8@utk.edu, (865) 974-2964



(if you are responding by email, please indicate whether you will be having dinner and if you are a student)



Student attendance is encouraged and is FREE.



The Section will subsidize up to 15 students, including graduate students.



Presentation Only is Always Free!!



What comes to mind when you think of chili peppers? Indian curry? Mexican jalapeno poppers? Pepper spray? Chili peppers have been used by humans for at least 9,000 years and they may be the oldest domesticated crop in the Western Hemisphere. Their usage ranges widely from culinary to medicinal to battle. It was found in 1816 that the pungent compound in peppers could be extracted from pods with organic solvents and in 1876 it was reported that

the main component in peppers could be extracted in a pure crystalline state (named capsaicin). In 1912, Wilbur Scoville developed an organoleptic test to evaluate the “heat” level of different chili peppers (the Scoville scale). In modern times, almost everyone consumes chili peppers every day because of the broad range of foods that contain chili peppers (salad dressings, mayonnaise, meats, beverages, candies, snack foods, etc.). Of course, chili peppers are consumed in some countries much more than others. When eating chili peppers, the brain secretes endorphins to reduce the pain. For many, this experience warrants repetition. At the talk, I hope to be a purveyor of interesting chili pepper history, facts, chemistry, and analysis.



Dr. Robert Yokley obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville under the direction of Professors Gleb Mamantov and Earl Wehry. His employment history includes the Food and Drug Division, Tennessee Department of Agriculture in Nashville TN, the Coal Research Division of CONOCO, Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA, and finally Ciba-Geigy Corporation (became Syngenta in 2000) in Greensboro, NC for a total career length of 42+ years. He authored 20 published, peer-reviewed research papers and six book chapters on applications of gas and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. Robert serves as Councilor and Senior Chemists Chair for the Central North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and as a member of the ACS National Committee on Nomenclature, Terminology, and Symbols and as an associate member of the Senior Chemists Committee. Robert lives in Kernersville, NC with his wife, Phyllis. They enjoy driving their vintage Triumph sports car in tours and rallies, travel, and hiking amongst other activities. He has two daughters and four grandchildren.