An important name, Wilber Scoville was a pharmacist who first invented a spicy metre scale in 1912 to measure the heat of peppers. Named after him, Scoville scale measures capsaicin in Scoville units. He studied pungency by relating how pepper extract responded to other chemicals. Anyhow, he determined later that the method didn’t soar to the sensitive heights as to offer readings on a precision calculator. Whereas, he found that the tongue explains better sensitivity than any other artificial methods. The organ detected the capsaicin in a very low concentration for it was dissolved in a solution that was a million times its volumes.

About Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a chemical that excites the heat in chillies. It triggers the nerve endings called chemoreceptors located in the skin. Particularly found in the mucous membranes, these receptors cause running nose and temporary relief from cold. So now you can link, why your mum always asks you to have a bowl of hot curry as soon as you catch a cold.

The human tongue contains thousands of pain receptors known as VR1 receptors. These are primarily targeted by capsaicin when it comes in contact with the organ to bind a special class of vanilloid receptors. After capsaicin binds to these receptors, the brain then signals a burning sensation, indicating the presence of spicy stimuli. This function explains a brief understanding of how the capsaicin molecules make your food spicy!

Scoville Scale

Scoville practised the method by soaking different varieties of peppers in separate containers filled with alcohol overnight. The idea behind the technique was to extract the capsaicin properties into the soaking as the heat properties get dissolved in alcohol. He calculated the exact size of the extract and added sweetened water to it in an incremental percentage until he couldn’t sense the pungent feeling on his tongue. The scores for different pepper extracts concluded their Scoville Heat Unit rating.

Scoville scale uses human subjects to account a pepper’s hotness in the expressions of SHU. Scoville repeated the course of taste-testing the greater dilutions of peppers extract until the heat loses its presence. SHU ranges from zero which defines the least, by going as high at 16,000,000 units or more for pure capsaicin. To be precise, the bell pepper rates a zero, while the world’s hottest chilli, the Bhut Jolokia, counts at 1,001,304 SHU.

Scoville pepper type heat scale vector graphic

Scoville pepper type heat scale. See the Hot Sauces online

Imagine the plight and sanity of the live experiment tongues, which explained the heat ratings. The BBC recently filmed an entire show on the first man who ate a whole curry bowl made with ghost chillies, called “The Widower.” He later suffered hallucinations because of the heat effects.

Many methods are developed today for measuring pepper’s passion. The Scoville’s test has been considered little subjective in comparison to different modern techniques. While the Scoville scale works by counting units as per the pepper’s hotness, which can vary from one chilli to another, the scale works just as a guide and nothing definite. A High-Pressure Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) technology has been adopted nowadays to decide precise capsaicin levels. However, the importance and repute of Scoville Heat Unit ideology remain the same.

You can grab a real taste of the peppers hotness and not of any artificial spice chemicals in the offered ranges of food products at Fresh Is Best. Our grocery menu is a dream come true for every foodie in this world, especially those who love organic spices! Buy Gourmet Habanero Hot Sauce; the Habanero is rated as one of the hottest peppers in the world on the Scoville scale. Experience the world of fiery hotness with Fresh is Best’s hot products!