Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday's Molecule #192

Last week's molecule was photosystem I (PSI). Mikkel Rasmussen was the only one to get it right [Monday's Molecule #191].

I thought of this week's molecule while I was in Los Angeles last week. We got to sample some excellent examples of cuisine that's hard to find in Toronto. You need to supply the common name AND the formal IUPAC name.

Post your answer as a comment. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins. I will only post mostly correct answers to avoid embarrassment. The winner will be treated to a free lunch.

There could be two winners. If the first correct answer isn't from an undergraduate student then I'll select a second winner from those undergraduates who post the correct answer. You will need to identify yourself as an undergraduate in order to win. (Put "undergraduate" at the bottom of your comment.)

Some past winners are from distant lands so their chances of taking up my offer of a free lunch are slim. (That's why I can afford to do this!)

In order to win you must post your correct name. Anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters can't win the free lunch.

Winners will have to contact me by email to arrange a lunch date. Please try and beat the regular winners. Most of them live far away and I'll never get to take them to lunch. This makes me sad.

Comments are now open.

UPDATE: The molecule is capsaicin. It's responsible for the "hot" taste in chili peppers (Capsicum sp.). The IUPAC name is usually given as 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide (e.g. Wikipedia) and this is the answer supplied by Seth Kasowitz. He's a winner! However, there's a more correct IUPAC name, N-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl)-8-methylnon-6-enamide, and this was the IUPAC name in the response from Bill Gunn. He's also a winner! The winners should contact me by email.

Nov. 2009: Jason Oakley, Alex Ling
Oct. 17: Bill Chaney, Roger Fan
Oct. 24: DK
Oct. 31: Joseph C. Somody
Nov. 7: Jason Oakley
Nov. 15: Thomas Ferraro, Vipulan Vigneswaran
Nov. 21: Vipulan Vigneswaran (honorary mention to Raul A. Félix de Sousa)
Nov. 28: Philip Rodger
Dec. 5: 凌嘉誠 (Alex Ling)
Dec. 12: Bill Chaney
Dec. 19: Joseph C. Somody
Jan. 9: Dima Klenchin
Jan. 23: David Schuller
Jan. 30: Peter Monaghan
Feb. 7: Thomas Ferraro, Charles Motraghi
Feb. 13: Joseph C. Somody
March 5: Albi Celaj
March 12: Bill Chaney, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
March 19: no winner
March 26: John Runnels, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 2: Sean Ridout
April 9: no winner
April 16: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 23: Dima Klenchin, Deena Allan
April 30: Sean Ridout
May 7: Matt McFarlane
May 14: no winner
May 21: no winner
May 29: Mike Hamilton, Dmitri Tchigvintsev
June 4: Bill Chaney, Matt McFarlane
June 18: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
June 25: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 2: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 16: Sean Ridout, William Grecia
July 23: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
July 30: Bill Chaney and Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Aug. 7: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Aug. 13: Matt McFarlane
Aug. 20: Stephen Spiro
Aug. 27: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Sept. 3: Matt McFarlane
Sept. 10: Matt Talarico
Sept. 17: no winner
Sept. 24: Mikkel Rasmussen
Oct. 1: John Runnels
Oct. 8: Raúl Mancera
Oct. 15: Raul A. Félix de Sousa
Oct. 22: Mikkel Rasmussen
Nov. 12: Seth Kasowitz, Bill Gunn


  1. Capsaicin


    -Seth Kasowitz

  2. Molecule #192 is Capsaicin, or 8-Methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide.

  3. CAPSAICIN, IUPAC name N-[(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-8-methylnon-6-enamide

    I have had some of this today both from habaneros and Portuguese style red peppers all grown in our own yard here in South Ontario.

  4. 8-Methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide

  5. How weird, I was looking at this molecule just yesterday! It's Capsaicin.

  6. I thought of this week's molecule while I was in Los Angeles last week. We got to sample some excellent examples of cuisine that's hard to find in Toronto.

    What, there is no spicy food in Toronto?

  7. That would be Capsaicin, and the IUPAC name would be 8-Methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide

  8. Ok, sorry, Capsaicin with a (real) IUPAC name of (E)-N-[(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-8-methylnon-6-enamide

  9. The substance that makes you believe, your food is burning hot...
    And birds don't feel it, so for them your jalapeno is sweet...

    Capsaicin, i.e. 8-Methyl-N-vanillyl-trans-6-nonenamide