not hot peppers

K.C. Baker mbkxb at
Tue Nov 8 08:13:31 EST 1994

WBLANCHARD at wrote:
: Dave - a short article in Chile Pepper magazine, Oct. 1993 suggests that less
: 	than perfect environmental conditions actually may increase the 
: 	Scoville rating. Factors such as too much/too little water, soil
:         composition pH, relative humidity, uv radiation, fertilizers, night
: 	and day temperatures may also play an environmental role in capsaicin
: 	content.  This may make some evolutionary sense; it has been suggested
: 	that capsaicin protects the pepper seeds from mammalian predation and in
: 	tough times, it is not only peppers that are affected, but all organisms        in the ecosystem so it is to the pepper plants advantage to add another
: 	level of vigilance to ward off all those hungry critters.

: 	wally blanchard <wblanchard at>

Whilst on holiday in the US recently, I read the label on a bottle of
Habanero sauce in a restaurant which spoke proudly of the number of
Scoville units in said sauce. How is this unit defined? Whilst walking in the
hills nearby we came across a gravestone dedicated to someone named Scoville,
but I guess the real explanation must be more humane that the one which
occurred to us. 
Dr Ken Baker                              JANET : UK.AC.DL.SEQNET::MBKXB
Department of Protein Engineering       INTERNET : MBKXB at SEQNET.DL.AC.UK      
BBSRC Institute of Food Research            TEL :        (+44) 734 357139
Reading Berks RG6 2EF                      FAX :        (+44) 734 267917

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