How Hot is That Chili?

Posted by : Mouthburners | Friday, August 20, 2010 | Published in

This is a obviously a common question but the answer is subject to a lot of variation, the actual 'hotness' of a chilli will depend on many factors such as the variety of chilli, how it is grown and how long it is left on the plant before it is harvested.

In general though the 'heat' of a chilli or chilli product can be rated by measuring the concentration of the compound capsaicin that causes this sensation.

The most widley accepted standard of measurement today is the Scoville scale, although somewhat imprecise as it relies very much on the sensory subjectiveness of human testers.

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General list of Chillies and their Scoville ratings
Scoville rating Type of pepper
15,000,000–16,000,000 Pure capsaicin
8,600,000–9,100,000 Various capsaicinoids (e.g., homocapsaicin, homodihydrocapsaicin, nordihydrocapsaicin)
5,000,000–5,300,000 Law Enforcement Grade pepper spray, FN 303 irritant ammunition
855,000–1,075,000 Bhut Jolokia (Naga Jolokia)
Dorset Naga
350,000–580,000 Red Savina habanero
100,000–350,000 Guntur Chilli, Habanero chili, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Datil pepper, Rocoto, African Birdseye, Madame Jeanette, Jamaican Hot Pepper
50,000–100,000 Bird's eye chili/Thai Pepper/Indian Pepper, Malagueta Pepper, Chiltepin Pepper, Pequin Pepper
30,000–50,000 Cayenne Pepper, Ají pepper, Tabasco pepper, Cumari pepper
10,000–23,000 Serrano Pepper, Chichen Itza
2,500–8,000 Jalapeño Pepper, Guajillo pepper, New Mexican varieties of Anaheim pepper, Paprika
500–2,500 Anaheim pepper, Poblano Pepper, Rocotillo Pepper, Peppadew
100–500 Pimento, Peperoncini
0 No significant heat, Bell pepper, Aji dulce

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