The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency or heat level of chili peppers and other spicy foods. It is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. The scale assigns a numerical value to indicate the amount of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the heat, present in a pepper.
To give you an idea of the spiciness, here is a general breakdown of Scoville heat units (SHU):
- Mild: 0-5,000 SHU
- Medium: 5,000-50,000 SHU
- Hot: 50,000-100,000 SHU
- Very Hot: 100,000-350,000 SHU
- Extremely Hot: 350,000+ SHU
However, it's important to note that the perception of spiciness can vary from person to person. Factors such as individual tolerance, sensitivity, and the way the pepper is consumed (e.g., raw, cooked, dried, or in a sauce) can influence the experience of heat.
What is the highest Scoville food?
Pure capsaicin measures at the top of the Scoville scale, typically reaching 15 to 16 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU). It is important to note that pure capsaicin is not consumed directly as a food but is used as an ingredient in various products to provide extreme heat and spiciness.
How hot is pure capsaicin?
Pure capsaicin is a highly concentrated form of the chemical compound responsible for the spicy or hot sensation in chili peppers. Capsaicin is a naturally occurring compound found in the fruits of plants belonging to the Capsicum genus, which includes peppers like jalapeños, habaneros, and cayenne peppers.
Pure capsaicin is a crystalline substance that is extracted from chili peppers and purified to remove any impurities. It is considered one of the most potent forms of capsaicin available. Since it is extremely concentrated, pure capsaicin can be dangerous and should be handled with caution.
The Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale is often used to measure the heat level of capsaicin. Pure capsaicin measures at the top of the scale, reaching 15 to 16 million SHU. This makes it significantly hotter than the hottest chili peppers, such as the Carolina Reaper, which typically ranges from 1.4 to 2.2 million SHU.
Due to its intense heat, pure capsaicin is not typically consumed directly. Instead, it is commonly used as an ingredient in spicy food products, hot sauces, and pepper sprays, where it provides the desired level of heat and spiciness.