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Scoville Heat Scale

The Scoville heat scale is used to measure the spiciness of chili peppers and products made from chili peppers such as hot sauce. The scale measures the concentration of the chemical compound capsaicin which produces the heat sensation when eaten.

The scale is named after Wilbur L. Scoville (1865-1942) who developed a test (Scoville Organoleptic Test) to dilute a solution of the pepper extract with sugar water until the spiciness is no longer detectable to a group of tasters. The degree to which he had to dilute the pepper extract gives the pepper its measure on the Scoville scale. The higher the scoville rating, the hotter the pepper!

Sweet peppers have a rating of zero and jalapeño peppers have a scoville rating of 5,000.  In comparison, the hottest pepper in the world to date is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion which has a scoville rating of 2,000,000!

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