Peppers - HOT

The heat in chillies is caused by a group of chemicals called capcaicinoids. These chemicals are found only in the fruit, and the more concentrated they are, the hotter the chilli is. Their concentration is affected mostly by the choice of variety, though levels are also influenced by growing conditions, sun, soil and age of the fruit.

The degree of heat is expressed in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), named after Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacologist who devised a taste test for measuring chilli heat in 1912.

The scale starts at zero for sweet peppers, which have no heat, and increases up to the current record holders – varieties of C. chinense from Bangladesh, Northeast India and the Caribbean – which reach heat levels of 1,000,000 SHU or more.

  SCOVILLE HEAT SCALE  
Ghost Pepper, Bhut Jolokia 855,000 – 1,040,000 208 times hotter than Jalapeno
Habanero – Red Sativa 350,000 – 577,000 115 times hotter than Jalapeno
Chocolate Habanero 300,000 – 500,000 100 times hotter than Jalapeno
Thai Chile Duo 50,000 – 100,000 20 times hotter than Jalapeno
Thai Hot, Red 50,000 – 100,000 20 times hotter than Jalapeno
Tabasco pepper 30,000 – 50,000 10 times hotter than Jalapeno
Long Red Cayenne 30,000 – 50,000 10 times hotter than Jalapeno
Serrrano 10,000 – 23,000 4 ½ times hotter than Jalapeno
Jalapeno 2,500 – 8,000  
Pasilla Bajio 1000 – 2000 40% the heat of a Jalapeno

 

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