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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 (135 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.