Sunday, 13 May 2012

chili pepper

In 2005, New Mexico State University’s Chili Pepper Institute (yes, there is a chili pepper institute) found the Bhut Jolokia to have a Scoville rating of 1,001,304 SHUs. Although there are other peppers that are hotter, like the Naga Viper at 1,382,118 SHUs and the Trinidad Scorpion at 1,463,700 SHUs, because of their hybrid nature they are unable to produce offspring exactly like the parent. So, at 855,000–1,050,000 SHUs, the Bhut Jolokia is the hottest “naturally grown” pepper. For comparison, a bell pepper registers zero SHUs, a Jalapeno comes in at roughly 3,500, and a Habanero is approximately 100,000–350,000.
What is a Scoville unit you might ask? In 1912, Mr. Wilbur Scoville invented a method of testing a pepper’s pungency units. Scoville’s test results were determined by taking the extracts of many types of chili peppers and diluting them in a sugared water solution until none of the heat remained. Testing was done by a panel of five “judges” who would taste these solutions and then tell Scoville when they no longer felt any heat. Because of the differences in an individual’s taste buds, the results were not very consistent. Today, more scientific and accurate methods like Electrochemistry and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) are used to determine capsaicin levels (the chemical in chilis that produces the heat). In honor of Mr. Scoville, the unit of measure is still named Scoville.

by.Hadi Laghari 

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