The Most Toxic Component of Chili Con Carne


In this paper, the toxicity of the three main ingredients chili peppers (capsicum), kidney beans and mince in the popular dish Chili Con Carne were investigated. It was found that all three components caused similar symptoms but had different measures of toxicity. Capsicum has a LD50 of 161.2 mg/kg in rats and 118.8 mg/kg in mice. Kidney beans have a hemagglutinin unit of between 20,000-70,000 hau and Salmonella poisoning in mince can be caused by as few as 4.89x1013 bacteria (assuming un-limiting conditions). As the measures of toxicity could not be compared, the most harmful ingredient was deemed to be raw/undercooked meat as it could lead to Salmonella poisoning which can result in typhoid fever, found to cause around 500,000 deaths per year.

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This paper was published in University of Leicester Open Journals.

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