not hot peppers

klier at cobra.uni.edu klier at cobra.uni.edu
Wed Nov 9 16:31:39 EST 1994


In article <39nthr$cdm at mserv1.dl.ac.uk>, mbkxb at s-crim1.dl.ac.uk (K.C. Baker) writes:
> 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. 

8-)  I can't tell you how a Scoville unit is defined, but the name
comes from the Scoville Organoleptic Test, developed in 1912.  Bell
peppers (the common green peppers) have a score of 0 Scoville Heat 
Units, 'Anaheim' 1000, Jalapeno and Cayenne usually about 2,500-
4,000, but occasionally to 25,000, and tabasco types to 80,000.

The Scoville test may not be all that humane anyway... the test
relies on test panelists that don't eat chili peppers on a regular
basis. ;-)

For more information, look at Jean Andrew's 1984 book, _Peppers: 
The Domesticated Capsicums_ (University of Texas Press).  I think
there's probably a large volume of archived material on peppers in
the rec.gardens archives at sunsite.unc.edu.
 
Kay Klier  Biology Dept  UNI



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