Dennis J. Reeder
djreeder at micf.nist.gov
Mon Nov 7 17:07:12 EST 1994
In article <39lhs2$85q at apakabar.cc.columbia.edu>, pcj1 at bonjour.cc.columbia.edu (Pierre Jelenc) says:
>In article <estephen.152 at biology.as.ua.edu>,
>Ed Stephenson <estephen at biology.as.ua.edu> wrote:
>>In article <199411031746.AA23794 at wugate.wustl.edu> saboteur at BORCIM.WUSTL.EDU (bdl) writes:
>>>Also, I beleive habaneros have the highest skovill
>It is spelled "Scoville", after the name of the inventor of that scale.
>>>rating, but my own experience finds scotch bonnets to be far superior in kick.
>>>What do you think?
>>I think they're the same thing.
My colleague, R.G. Christensen, of the Organic Analytical Research Division at NIST writes:
The pungency or "hotness" of chili peppers is quantified in terms of Scoville Heat Units (SU).
It is defined as the dilution at which the sensation of hotness can barely be detected by a trained
tester. The dimensions of the SU pungency are therefore mL/g. Ordinary
dried chilies have an SU rating of perhaps 20,000. Habanero peppers have
an SU rating of around 100,000. The hotness of the pure hot compound
(capsaicin) found in peppers is about 16 million. This means that pungency can
be detected by tast of 1 gram of the stuff dissolved in 16,000 liters of water.
The SU of a preparation is determined, as implied above, by a trained tester making dilutions
and tasting them. I don't know of any international standards, either as methods of measurement
or of reference materials with standardized properties.
djreeder at micf.nist.gov Dennis J. Reeder
Chem. Sci. & Technology Laboratory
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