How Do We Measure Chili Pepper Heat Levels?
SCOVILLE HEAT SCALE
WE USE THE
The Scoville Scale was named for scientist Wilbur Scoville in 1912.
Scoville worked for a pharmaceutical company named Parke-Davis where he developed a test called the “Scoville Organoleptic Test” which is used to measure a chili pepper’s pungency and heat.
It can also measure the heat levels of spicy foods, like hot sauce
Originally, Scoville ground up peppers and mixed them with sugar water, then tested them with a panel of tasters who sipped from these solutions.
Today, testing chili pepper heat has been replaced by High Performance Liquid Chromatography, or HPLC, which measures the pepper’s heat producing chemicals and rates them in ASTA pungency units.
Pure capsaicin, the stuff that makes chili peppers hot, is rated between 15 – 16,000,000 Scoville heat units.
HERE ARE THE HEAT LEVELS OF SOME OF THE MOST COMMON PEPPERS
0 SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS
1,000-2,000 SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS
2,500 - 8,000 SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS
10,000 - 23,000 SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS
100,000 - 350,000 SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS
1,000,000+ SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS
2,000,000+ SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS