What is the Scoville Scale ?

Market stall selling peppers with a Scoville scale sign

Market stall selling peppers with a Scoville scale sign

The Scoville scale is a measurement of the spicy heat (or piquance) of a chilli pepper. The number of Scoville heat units (SHU) indicates the amount of capsaicin present. Capsaicin is a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes; pure capsaicin has a Scoville rating of 16,000,000 SHU.

You can see the full chart in the Scoville Scale glossary entry.

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