not hot peppers

Frederick Michael DOROSH dekosser at marge.cs.mcgill.ca
Sat Nov 12 11:50:26 EST 1994


klier at cobra.uni.edu wrote:
: 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. ;-)

[...]

        Hmm.. I tasted a pepper while in the Carribean that would probably
push this Scoville rating into the six digits. I can practically drink
tabasco sauce from the bottle without blinking, but this thing had me
coughing and hacking and drooling helplessly on the floor for a good fifteen
minutes. And I've heard that there's hotter yet.

        Why the need for test panelists? I'm given to understand that the
actual spiciness of a food is due to the presence of a particular enzyme.
Why not make 'spiciness' a measure of the concentration of this enzyme in
a given food item?

'Dkc
_____________
There's one assimililated every minute.   - P.T. Borg



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