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Hot Peppers

I keep receiving visitiors coming to my sites looking for information on hot peppers. They look to see what makes hot pepper hot, which of the peppers are the hottest, and so forth. I thought I should make at least one post on the information. If I ever get around to it, maybe I’ll dedicate a site to hot peppers.
The information below is adapted from Wikipedia.

What makes hot peppers hot?

The Scoville scale is a measure of the hotness of a chile pepper. These fruits of the Capsicum genus contain capsaicin, a chemical compound which stimulates heat-receptor nerve endings in the tongue, and the number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present. Many hot sauces use their Scoville rating in advertising as a selling point.
It is named after Wilbur Scoville, who developed the Scoville Organoleptic Test in 1912. As originally devised, a solution of the pepper extract is diluted in sugar water until the ‘heat’ is no longer detectable to a panel of (usually five) tasters; the degree of dilution gives its measure on the Scoville scale. Thus a sweet pepper, containing no capsaicin at all, has a Scoville rating of zero, meaning no heat detectable even undiluted. Conversely, the hottest chiles, such as habaneros, have a rating of 300,000 or more, indicating that their extract has to be diluted 300,000-fold before the capsaicin present is undetectable. 15 Scoville units is equivalent to one part capsaicin per million. The greatest weakness of the Scoville Organoleptic Test is its imprecision, because it relies on human subjectivity.
Later analytical developments such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (also known as the “Gillett Method”) have now enabled the Scoville rating to be determined by direct measurement of capsaicin rather than sensory methods.

How hot are hot peppers?

855,000 Naga Jolokia pepper (reported & disputed)
350,000–580,000 Red Savina habanero (Guinness Book of Records)
100,000–350,000 Habanero chile
100,000–325,000 Scotch bonnet
100,000–225,000 Birds eye pepper
100,000–200,000 Jamaican hot pepper
100,000–125,000 Carolina cayenne pepper
95,000–110,000 Bahamian pepper
85,000–115,000 Tabiche pepper
50,000–100,000 Thai pepper
50,000–100,000 Chiltepin pepper
40,000–58,000 Piquin pepper
40,000–50,000 Super chile pepper
40,000–50,000 Santaka pepper
30,000–50,000 Cayenne pepper
30,000–50,000 Tabasco pepper
15,000–30,000 de Arbol pepper
12,000–30,000 Manzano pepper, Ají
5,000–23,000 Serrano pepper
5,000–10,000 Hot wax pepper
5,000–10,000 Chipotle
2,500–8,000 Jalapeño
2,500–8,000 Santaka pepper
2,500–5,000 Guajilla pepper
1,500–2500 Rocotilla pepper
1,000–2,000 Pasilla pepper
1,000–2,000 Ancho pepper
1,000–2,000 Poblano pepper
700–1,000 Coronado pepper
500–2500 Anaheim pepper
500–1,000 New Mexico pepper
500–700 Santa Fe Grande pepper
100–500 Pepperoncini pepper
100–500 Pimento
0 Sweet bell pepper

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

3 replies on “Hot Peppers”

I love your site it was the best all around list,people are tripping about red savina habanero being detroned,people know that a new spicer pepper comes along once in while .the naga jolokia is the new pepper onthe heat scovile scale period.
sincerely;
alfredo

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