As I started to write about why Indian food is so hot and what could be done about it, I thought I would do some digging around on the internet to learn about the heat of various chilies.

Green chiles

Green chiles


Did you know that back in 1912, a chemist named Wilbur Scoville measured and recorded the amount of spicy heat in chilies? Through his Scoville Organoleptic Test, he measured the amount of capsaicin they contained. Common green bell peppers have a score of zero while, at the other end of the spectrum, the naga jolokia chilies from northeast India score 1,000,000 heat units. Below is an extract from his table of results for your reference:


Scoville Heat Units Chillies
15,000,000 – 16,000,000 Pure capsaicin
855,000 – 1,075,000 Naga Jolokia
100,000 – 350,000 Habanero
50,000 – 100,000 Thai/Indian
30,000 – 50,000 Cayenne
10,000 – 23,000 Serrano
2,500 – 8,000 Jalapeño
500 – 2,500 Anaheim, Poblano
100 – 500 Pimento, Peperoncini
0  Bell Pepper



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