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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

How Hot is Your Chilli Sauce?

How do you measure the heat of a chilli?
How do you guess how hot you new chile sauces will be before you try them?

To answer this question turn to the scoville scale. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the heat of a chilli. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present. Capsaicin is a chemical that stimulates the nerve endings in the skin especially the mucous membranes. The scale is named after its creator, American chemist Wilbur Scoville, who developed a test for rating the pungency of chili peppers. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not the seeds that are the hottest part of a chilli, but the white pith that surrounds them and runs in thick veins through the pod. Fresh red chillies are two to three times hotter than green fruit, and dried pods are between two and ten hotter than fresh pods. To give you a basic idea there and some of the more common varieties listed beolow in the table to match against your sauce ingredients list. Happy Tasting!

Scoville heat units
15,000,000–16,000,000Pure capsaicin[7]
8,600,000–9,100,000Various capsaicinoids (e.g., homocapsaicin, homodihydrocapsaicin, nordihydrocapsaicin)
5,000,000–5,300,000Law Enforcement Grade pepper spray,[8] FN 303 irritant ammunition
855,000–1,075,000Naga Jolokia (ghost chili)[9][10]
350,000–580,000Red Savina habanero[11][12]
100,000–350,000Guntur Chilli, Habanero chili,[13] Scotch Bonnet Pepper,[13] Datil pepper, Rocoto, African Birdseye, Madame Jeanette, Jamaican Hot Pepper[14]
50,000–100,000Bird's eye chili/Thai Pepper/Indian Pepper,[15] Malagueta Pepper,[15] Chiltepin Pepper, Pequin Pepper[15]
30,000–50,000Cayenne Pepper, Ají pepper,[13] Tabasco pepper, Cumari pepper (Capsicum Chinese)
10,000–23,000Serrano Pepper, Peter Pepper
2,500–8,000Jalapeño Pepper, Guajillo pepper, New Mexican varieties of Anaheim pepper,[16] Paprika (Hungarian wax pepper), Tabasco Sauce
500–2,500Anaheim pepper, Poblano Pepper, Rocotillo Pepper, Peppadew
100–500Pimento, Peperoncini
0No significant heat, Bell pepper, Aji dulce

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, I find jalapeno really really hot! Looking at that scale of hotness it is almost at the bottom! :)