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 The Scoville Scale

Below or on the left 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. 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 (Carolina Reaper) more than two 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.

Chemische structuur Capsaïcine:

Chemische structuur Capsaicine

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, it 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.

Wilbure Scoville

 [One of the world's first Chili Heads: Wilbur Scoville]

African Bird's Eye (Piri-Piri)

225000

Lemon Drop

50000

Thai Chile

100000

Adjuma

325000

Cayenne Long Slim

50000

Bishop's Crown

30000

Scotch Bonnet Orange

325000

Scotch Bonnet Yellow

325000

Scotch Bonnet Red

325000

Fatalii Yellow

325000

Jalapeno Purple

8000

Santa Fe Grande

750

Anaheim

2500

NuMex Joe E. Parker

1000

Jalapeno

8000

Serrano

22000

Hungarian Hot Wax

10000

Habanero Orange

325000

Habanero White

325000

Habanero Chocolate

425000

Bhut Jolokia Red

1001300

Satans Kiss

50000

Black Hungarian

10000

Fresno

8000

Jalapeno Early

8000

Cayenne Golden

50000

Pasilla Bajio

2000

Bulgarian Carrot

30000

Large Red Cherry

5000

Banana Supreme

0

Gypsy F1

0

Habanero Peach

325000

Jalapeno Numex Pinata

50000

Prairie Fire

70000

Ring of Fire

85000

Thai Dragon

140000

Trinidad Perfume

500

Chi-Chien

70000

Aji Amarillo

50000

Cyklon

5000

Goat Horn

2000

Golden Greek Pepperoncini

1000

Habanero Red

325000

Jimmy Nardello

0

Kung Pao

10000

Pimientos de Padrón

5000

Purple Tiger

9000

Burkina Yellow / NEW

325000

Habanero Caribbean Red

445000

Numex Twilight

100000

Penis Pepper Orange

30000

Fish Pepper

30000

Beaver Dam

1000

Bolivian Rainbow

30000

Habanero Tobago Seasoning

500

Rocoto Red

50000

Habanero Mustard

325000

Tabasco

70000

Rocoto Orange

50000

Caloro

5000

Numex Big Jim

2500

Chile de Arbol

30000

Thai Little Red Chili

70000

Serrano Purple

22000

Ancho Grande

1500

Hot Portugal

30000

Mulato Isleno

1500

Romanian Hot

1400

Cascabella

4000

Aji Red

50000

Cayenne Purple

50000

Jamaican Hot Yellow

200000

Orozco

30000

Poinsettia

2500

Bhut Jolokia Chocolate

1001300

Cayenne Thick

50000

Thai Hot Culinary

40000

Jamaican Hot Red

200000

Tepin

100000

Guajillo

3000

Costeno Amarillo

2000

Naga Morich

1000000

Habanero Red Savina

577000

Devil’s Tongue Yellow

325000

Trinidad Scorpion Red

1000000

7 Pod Red

1000000

7 Pod Yellow

1000000

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Red

2009231

Georgia Flame

1500

Jalapeno Jaloro

8000

Numex Suave Red

850

Numex Suave Orange

850

Ubatuba Cambuci

5000

Onza

30000

Numex Centennial

5000

Royal Black

30000

Filius Blue

50000

Jalapeno TAM

3500

Pequin

140000

Bird Eye Demon

100000

7 Pod Primo Red

1469000

7 Pod Douglah

1853936

Trinidad Scorpion Butch Taylor Red

1463700

7 Pod Jonah

1000000

7 Pod Brain Strain Red

1000000

Bhut Jolokia Yellow

1001300

Habanero Chichen Itza

180000

Hot Paper Lantern

325000

Serrano del Sol / NEW

5500

Jamaican Hot Chocolate

200000

Explosive Ember

50000

Habanero Congo Trinidad

300000

Nosegay

5000

Super Chili

50000

Aji Dulce

1000

Red Cap Mushroom

50000

Raja Mirch

900000

Jalapeno Orange

8000

Holy Mole

700

Little Elf

30000

Habanero Lemon

325000

Habanero Burning Bush

325000

Habanero Magnum Orange

325000

Aji Crystal

50000

Habanero Maya Red

325000

Variegata

50000

Espelette

4000

Penis Pepper Yellow

30000

Holiday Cheer

30000

Bhut Jolokia Orange

1001300

7 Pod Brain Strain Yellow

1000000

Cherry Bomb

5000

Jalapeno Fooled You

0

Garden Salsa

3500

Jalapeno Mucho Nacho

8000

Pepperoncini

1000

Numex Sandia

7000

Santaka

50000

Fatalii Red

325000

Trinidad Scorpion Yellow

1000000

Bhut Jolokia Purple

1001300

7 Pod Orange

1000000

Rocoto Yellow

50000

Bhut Jolokia White

1001300

Devil’s Tongue Red

325000

Trinidad Scorpion Orange

1000000

Aji Cito

100000

Aribibi Gusanito

80000

Datil

300000

Habanero Big Sun

325000

7 Pod Brown

1000000

Bhut Jolokia Peach

1001300

7 Pod Burgundy

1000000

7 Pod White

1000000

7 Pod Chaguanas

1000000

Carolina Reaper

2200000

Red Rocket

100

Jalapeno Billy Biker

1

Monster Naga

1000000

Prik Kee Noo Suan

70000

Ethiopian Brown

50000

Habalokia Chocolate

100000

Habalokia Red

200000

Aconcagua

0

Dedo de Moca

15000

Trinidad Beans

325000

Mosquetero

1500

Aji Omnicolor

50000

Carolina Reaper Chocolate

2200000

7 Pod Jigsaw

2000000

Naga Black

800000

Big Black Mama

1000000

Bhutlah Chocolate

2000000

Bounty F1

0

Thai Compact / NEW

40000

Jalapeno La Bomba / NEW

5000