How many times have you happened to eat hot chili and feel your mouth literally go on fire; and every time that happens think that what you are eating is really the hottest chili you have ever tasted.
How do you measuring the spiciness of a chili pepper spicy? In this short article we will tell you about the Scoville scale.
The Scoville scale is the scale for measuring the spiciness of a hot pepper. Hot peppers contain certain substances called capsaicinoids, the most important and well-known of which is capsaicin, compounds that stimulate nerve endings located under the tongue and, by transmitting to the brain, cause that hot, burning sensation.
The Scoville Scale was devised by its namesake Wilbur Scoville in 1912, its units of measurement are SHUs (Scoville Heat Units).
The Scoville test originally consisted of the organoleptic test, that is, a solution was prepared from the chili pepper extract, diluted in water and sugar. The extract would continue to be diluted until a panel of tasters judged it to be free of any spiciness.
Simply put, it was based on the individual sensitivity of the people who were tested. The greater the dilution with water and sugar, the greater the spiciness of the chili, so the scoville scale took on a higher value.
According to the Scoville scale, a sweet bell pepper that contains no capsaicin has a value of zero while the Pure capsaicin measures 16,000,000, a value that was arbitrarily placed by Scoville.
Image source: wikipedia.org
Subsequently, it was preferred to switch to other types of tests deemed more reliable, such as, for example, the HPLC test (High performance liquid chromatography, or "Gillett Method") that directly measures the amount of capsaicinoids instead of relying on human sensitivity.
In this way, the limitation of human subjective assessment has disappeared, and today one can directly measure the amount of capsacinoids present in the product or chili pepper one wants to analyze.
Do you want to know what is the ranking of the 5 hottest chili peppers in the world? Click here and discover and purchase the world's hottest chili peppers.