Scoville Units
a unit measuring the concentration of capsaicin, the "hot" ingredient in chile peppers. A measurement of, say, 50 000 Scoville units means that an extract from the pepper can be diluted 50 000 to 1 with sugared water and the "burn" of the capsaicin will still be barely detectable by the human tongue. (In practice, the measurements are now made with liquid chromatography.) The unit was invented in 1912 by the American pharmacologist Wilbur L. Scoville, who was working on the use of capsaicin in the muscle pain-relieving ointment Heet. Actual chile peppers have capsaicin concentrations from 5000 to 500 000 Scoville units.


  1. 0-100 Scoville Units includes most Bell/Sweet pepper varieties.
  2. 500-1000 Scoville Units includes New Mexican peppers.
  3. 1,000-1,500 Scoville Units includes Espanola peppers.
  4. 1,000-2,000 Scoville Units includes Ancho & Pasilla peppers.
  5. 1,000-2,500 Scoville Units includes Cascabel & Cherry peppers.
  6. 2,500-5,000 Scoville Units includes Jalapeno & Mirasol peppers.
  7. 5,000-15,000 Scoville Units includes Serrano peppers.
  8. 15,000-30,000 Scoville Units includes de Arbol peppers.
  9. 30,000-50,000 Scoville Units includes Cayenne & Tabasco peppers.
  10. 50,000-100,000 Scoville Units includes Chiltepin peppers
  11. 100,000-350,000 Scoville Units includes Scotch Bonnet & Thai peppers.
  12. 200,000 to 300,000 Scoville Units includes Habanero peppers.
  13. Around 16,000,000 Scoville Units is Pure Capsaicin

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