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Friday 20 Jan 2006: Scoville Scale
The spiciness of chilli peppers, which is directly related to the content of a chemical called capsaicin, is expressed on the Scoville Scale. It is named after Wilbur Scoville, who developed a test in 1912. In the test he asked a panel of tasters to state when an increasingly dilute solution of the pepper no longer burned the mouth. The scale runs from 0 for paprika through around 350,000 for the hottest natural pepper and up to around 16,000,000 for pure capsaicin. Pepper sprays, used by the police to deter individuals, rate up to 5,300,000 on this scale.

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