mdcabl at mdcabl at
Tue Nov 8 23:42:09 EST 1994

In article <39eals$cpu at>, dobates at (Dave Bates) writes:
>> I believe that this is an older measurment that was used before the
>> capsicum could be quantitated.  It seems to me that the Smithsonian Mag
>> wrote an article on chili's about 2 years ago that described a new, less
>> subjective unit based on the amount of capsicum produced in a specific
>> chile.  Could be called a C unit or Capsicum Unit or something like that.
>> That article also compared the rating (I don't remember whether it was in
>> C units or Skovills) of the jalepeno (about 5000 units) and a habenero
>> (>500,000 units I think).
>> *********************************************************************Stephen R. Lasky, Ph.D.
>> Roger Williams Medical Center/Brown University
>> Phone: 401-456-6572       Fax: 401-456-6569       e-mail: Stephen_Lasky at
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> "To me at least, 'Yuck' doesn't capture the full essence of death by
>> neurotoxin."   -Dick Dunn
>> *********************************************************************
> That should be capsaicin, not capsicum. Regularly used in physiology
> for denervating sensory afferents or something.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -
> Dave Bates PhD                                     Tel: 916 752-7081
> Postdoctoral Researcher                            Fax: 916 758-2554 
> Dept of Human Physiology                         email:
> dobates at
> University of California at Davis                drink: anything
> Davis, California 95616, USA            No I don't have a sense of
> humour 
>                                                 now buy me a beer      

Just my two cents.  Capsicum is actually any pepper of the genus "Capsicum"
which is of the nightshade family.  Here in Austrlia capsicum usually refers to
what North Americans call bell pepper.  Capasaicin can be isolated from various
"Capsicums".  It is a phenolic amide C18H27NO3.  
	If you really want to make something SUPER hot, do an EtOH extraction
of habejeros (sp?).  This can be evaporated and concetrated further.  The other
wonder thing about this EtOH-hot sauce is that the ethanol breaks down mucosal
barriers in the mouth, thus bypassing this protective effect. Be careful
though, even smelling this stuff can make your nose burn.  How do I know you
ask? I made some.  Never could eat it though.  It was too damn painful.
Allen Black
Dept. of Pathology
Univ. of Newcastle       

More information about the Methods mailing list