Know your Scovilles

Each week we will look some of the interesting sides of the world of chilis! 

As much as we want to sell different sauces from around the world, we also want to impart some knowledge. This week we look at the Scoville Chile Heat Chart. All our ratings for the sauces will be based on this!⁠

The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spiciness or "heat") of chili peppers, as recorded in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), based on the concentration of capsaicinoids, among which capsaicin is the predominant component.⁠

Credit: Forbes


Scoville's original method for testing hotness was called the Scoville Organoleptic Test, which he developed in 1912. As originally devised, a solution of the pepper extract is diluted in sugar water until the "heat" is no longer detectable to a panel of (usually five) tasters; the degree of dilution gives its measure on the Scoville scale. Thus a sweet pepper, containing no capsaicin at all, has a Scoville rating of zero, meaning no heat detectable even undiluted. Conversely, the hottest chiles, such as habaneros, have a rating of 300,000 or more, indicating that their extract has to be diluted 300,000-fold before the capsaicin present is undetectable. The greatest weakness of the Scoville Organoleptic Test is its imprecision, because it relies on human subjectivity. Being a natural product, the heat can vary from pepper to pepper, so this scale is just a guide.

The same variation applies to hot sauces! 

For example Tabasco rocks in at 3,500SHU.⁠

Sriracha is a 1,000-2,500SHU heat level

However, one sauce we will have in stock - is a nice easy 550,000 SHU and this isn't going to be the hottest!⁠ Some are rocking in at over 1,000,000SHU! 

We want to say a huge thanks to Chili Pepper Madness who have helped compile the fact files for the Chilis! over the next few weeks! 

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