Pungency (also called piquancy) is a sharp and biting sensory impression. Food that causes this sensation is often called "spicy". Regarding chili peppers, it refers to a scientific equivalent of the Scoville scale of measuring spicyness.


The pungent feeling caused by allyl isothiocyanate, capsaicin, piperine, and allicin is caused by activation of the heat thermo- and chemosensitive TRP ion channels including TRPV1 and TRPA1 nociceptors.

See also

* International Spicy Food Day
* Pain
* Spice

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  • Pungency — Pun gen*cy, n. The quality or state of being pungent or piercing; keenness; sharpness; piquancy; as, the pungency of ammonia. The pungency of menaces. Hammond. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Pungency — (Roget s Thesaurus) < N PARAG:Pungency >N GRP: N 1 Sgm: N 1 pungency pungency piquancy poignancy haut gout strong taste twang race GRP: N 2 Sgm: N 2 sharpness sharpness &c. >Adj. Sgm: N 2 acrimony acr …   English dictionary for students

  • pungency — noun 1. wit having a sharp and caustic quality he commented with typical pungency the bite of satire • Syn: ↑bite • Derivationally related forms: ↑pungent • Hypernyms: ↑wit, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • pungency — (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Caustic nature Nouns 1. pungency, piquancy, poignancy, tang, raciness, haut goût, strong taste; sharpness, keenness, acrimony, acritude, acridity, astringency, acerbity, sourness, gaminess; tartness,… …   English dictionary for students

  • pungency — pungent ► ADJECTIVE 1) having a sharply strong taste or smell. 2) (of remarks or humour) sharp and caustic. DERIVATIVES pungency noun pungently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin pungere to prick …   English terms dictionary

  • pungency — noun Date: 1649 the quality or state of being pungent …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • pungency — See pungent. * * * …   Universalium

  • pungency — noun /ˈpʌndʒənsi/ a) The state of being pungent. b) A foul odor. See Also: pungent, pungently …   Wiktionary

  • pungency — pun·gen·cy pən jən sē n, pl cies the quality or state of being pungent …   Medical dictionary

  • pungency — Synonyms and related words: acerbity, acescency, acidity, acidulousness, acridity, acridness, astringence, astringency, bitter pill, bitterness, brilliance, causticity, cleverness, dash, dryness, facetiousness, funniness, gall, gall and wormwood …   Moby Thesaurus