•    Scoville Scale   

    How spicy is that pepper?

    The Scoville scale is used as a measure of hotness or piquancy of a chile pepper. Chile peppers are of the Capsicum genus, which are members of the nightshade family.  Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptors. Chemoreceptors are specialized nerve cells which are designed to respond to chemical stimuli like the cells located on your tongue.

    Capsaicin was first isolated in 1816 in partially purified crystalline form by Christian Fredrich Bucholz  and in pure crystalline form in 1876 by John Clough Thresh, who named it capsaicin. Buchheim was the earliest to find that capsaicin caused a burning sensation.

    The chilis with the highest rating on the Scoville scale exceed one million Scoville units, and include specimens of naga jolokia or bhut jolokia and its cultivar, the “Ghost chili“, which does not have official cultivar status. The Carolina Reaper is the world’s hottest pepper, according to the Guinness Book of World Records at 2.2 million Scoville units.

    The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present.

    15,000,000: pure 100% capsaicin
    9,100,000: Nordihydrocapsaicin
    8,600,000: Homodihydrocapsaicin and homocapsaicin
    5,300,000: Police grade Pepper spray
    2,000,000: Common pepper spray or Pepper Bomb

     

    To enlarge view click anywhere within the table below.

     

    Franks Pickled Peppers Scoville page

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