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            Click on a chili pepper for more information
     Chili pepper  Scoville Units
     Tomaat  0
     Paprika  0
     Banana Supreme  0
     Gypsy F1  0
     Jimmy Nardello  0
     Trinidad Perfume  ~ 500
     Tobago Seasoning  ~ 500
     Santa Fe Grande  500 ~ 750
     Numex Suave Orange  ~ 850
     Numex Suave Red  ~ 850
     Golden Greek Pepperoncini  ~ 1000
     NuMex Joe E. Parker  800 ~ 1000
     Romanian Hot  800 ~ 1400
     Mulato Isleno  1000 ~ 1500
     Ancho Grande  1000 ~ 1500
     Georgia Flame  ~ 1500
     Costeno Amarillo  1200 ~ 2000
     Pasilla Bajio  1000 ~ 2000
     Goat Horn  ~ 2000
     Anaheim  500 ~ 2500
     Numex Big Jim  500 ~ 2500
     Poinsettia  1300 ~ 2500
     Guajillo  ~ 3000
     Cascabella  1500 ~ 4000
     Caloro  1000 ~ 5000
     Navaho  1000 ~ 5000
     Numex Centennial  1000 ~ 5000
     Large Red Cherry  2500 ~ 5000
     Ubatuba Cambuci  ~ 5000
     Fresno  2500 ~ 8000
     Jalapeno  2500 ~ 8000
     Jalapeno Early  2500 ~ 8000
     Jalapeno Purple  2500 ~ 8000
     Jaloro  2500 ~ 8000
     Kung Pao  ~ 10.000
     Black Hungarian  5000 ~ 10.000
     Hungarian Hot Wax  5000 ~ 10.000
     Bishop's Crown  5000 ~ 15.000
     Purple Serrano  8000 ~ 22.000
     Serrano  8000 ~ 22.000
     Fish Pepper  5000 ~ 30.000
     New Delhi Long  5000 ~ 30.000
     Penis Pepper  5000 ~ 30.000
     Bolivian Rainbow  5000 ~ 30.000
     Hot Portugal  5000 ~ 30.000
     Onza  5000 ~ 30.000
     Orozco  5000 ~ 30.000
     Royal Black  5000 ~ 30.000
     Bulgarian Carrot  12.000 ~ 30.000
     Chile de Arbol  15.000 ~ 30.000
     Thai Bangkok Upright  15.000 ~ 30.000
     Thai Hot Culinary  25.000 ~ 40.000
     Lemon Drop  30.000 - 50.000
     Aji Red  30.000 - 50.000
     Cayenne Long Slim  30.000 - 50.000
     Cayenne Purple  30.000 - 50.000
     Cayenne Thick  30.000 - 50.000
     Golden Cayenne  30.000 - 50.000
     Rocoto Orange  30.000 - 50.000
     Rocoto Red  30.000 - 50.000
     Satans Kiss  40.000 - 50.000
     Aji Amarillo  40.000 ~ 50.000
     Numex Pinata  45.000 ~ 50.000
     Chi-Chien  ~ 70.000
     Prairie Fire  ~ 70.000
     Tabasco  30.000 ~ 70.000
     Ring of Fire  70.000 ~ 85.000
     Thai Burapa  50.000 ~ 100.000
     Thai Chile  50.000 ~ 100.000
     Tepin  50.000 ~ 100.000
     Numex Twilight  ~ 100.000
     Thai Dragon  75.000 ~ 140.000
     Jamaican Hot Yellow  100.000 ~ 200.000
     Jamaican Hot Red  100.000 ~ 200.000
     African Bird's Eye Chili  100.000 ~ 225.000
     Burkina Yellow  100.000 - 325.000
     Fatalii  125.000 ~ 325.000
     Madame Jeanette  125.000 ~ 325.000
     Devil’s Tongue  125.000 ~ 325.000
     Habanero Mustard  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Habanero Orange  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Habanero Peach  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Habanero Red  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Habanero White  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Scotch Bonnet Orange  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Scotch Bonnet Red  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Scotch Bonnet Yellow  150.000 ~ 325.000
     Habanero Golden  300.000 ~ 400.000
     Habanero Chocolate  300.000 ~ 425.000
     Caribbean Red  ~ 445.000
     Red Savina  ~  577.000
     7 Pod Yellow  800.000 ~ 1.000.000
     7 Pod Red  800.000 ~ 1.000.000
     Trinidad Scorpion  800.000 ~ 1.000.000
     Naga Morich  ~ 1.000.000
     Bhut Jolokia  800.000 ~ 1.001.300
     Bhut Jolokia Chocolate  800.000 ~ 1.001.300
     Pure Capsaicin  15 ~ 16,000,000

    The Scoville Scale

    On the left side you can see the Scoville Scale. This scale was developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville to measure the pungency of chilli peppers. Originally, the heat rating of pepper extracts was measured by dilution with water. The degree of dilution, until there was no 'heat' observed anymore, gives its measure on the Scoville scale in Scoville Units or SHU. The Jalapeno extract has to be diluted up to 8000 times to be not detected anymore (see scale). A drop of extract of the hottest pepper in the world (Bhut Jolokia) more than one million times!
    A meal is generally considered as ‘hot’ with a rating of 500-1000 SHU. Pepper spray used by the police has a rating of 5.300.000 SHU.

    Capsaicin is the active ingredient that gives peppers their pungency. The number of SHU is related to the amount of capsaicin. Today, the pungency is determined by measuring the amount of capsaicin, using chromatography. Pure capsaicin has a rating of 15-16000000 SHU. The chemical is very stable, hardly evaporates and almost doesn’t decompose by cooking.

    Chemical structure Capsaicin:

    Chemical Structure Capsaicin

    In chilli peppers five closely related chemical components are present with similar effects. Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaïcine are the most important of them.

    When capsaicin is present in the mouth, nerves are giving a similar signal to the brains when burning your mouth eating food above 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit). The body responds by releasing endorphin. Endorphin is also called the happiness hormone, gives you a nice feeling and eases the pain. You can get used to capsaicin, and thus to ‘hot’ food as well. Eventually you must eat ‘hotter’ to experience the effects of capsaicin. For many people, hot meals are a pleasant addiction. Birds are not sensitive to capsaicin and are therefore the main dispersers of the seeds.

    If you've eaten too hot, a glass of milk is a better choice than a glass of water. Capsaicin is insoluble in water and much better in fat. An alcoholic drink will also help extinguishing the ‘fire’ better.