Question on chillies

Dorothy Klein dak at
Thu Nov 3 12:22:28 EST 1994

ROGERSH < at> writes:

>What is the name of the scientific unit for the degree of hotness of a chilli
>and, more importantly, how is it measured? Does an international standard

The hotness of chiles is measured in Scoville units, an open-ended scale
based on the dilution factor at which the hotness is still perceived by
taste-testers, in aqueous solution.  Habaneros rate at something like
10,000 (or was it 40,000?) Scoville units.  

For exact testing protocols, try asking on rec.gardens, where you may be 
referred to a chiliheads FAQ or mailing list.  A decent popular 
explanation of the method appeared in _Organic Gardening_ within the 
past two years. It's probably treated in some articles on the hot pepper 
craze, too.

Dorothy Klein
grad student, microbiology and molecular genetics
Rutgers University

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