What is Scoville heat unit – measure of the pungency of peppers

 What is Scoville heat unit ?

The Scoville heat unit (SHU) is a measure of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers and other spicy foods. It is named after Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacist who developed the Scoville Organoleptic Test in 1912 to measure the heat level of chili peppers.

The Scoville scale measures the concentration of capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives chili peppers their spicy taste and heat. Capsaicin is present in the seeds and placenta (the part of the pepper that holds the seeds) of chili peppers, and it is measured in units called Scoville heat units (SHUs). The higher the concentration of capsaicin in a pepper, the higher its SHU rating will be, and the hotter it will be.

For example, bell peppers have a very low SHU rating of 0, while jalapeño peppers have a rating of 2,500-8,000 SHUs. Habanero peppers, on the other hand, have a rating of 100,000-350,000 SHUs, and the hottest pepper in the world, the Carolina Reaper, has a rating of over 2 million SHUs.

It is important to note that the Scoville scale is subjective and that different people may have different tolerances for spicy foods. It is also important to keep in mind that the heat level of a particular pepper can vary depending on various factors, such as where it is grown and how it is grown.

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