Sign In Login and Sign In

Chilli Heat – How Hot is Your Chilli?

Chilli Heat A chile’s heat depends on its concentration of capsaicin, measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Wilbur Scoville developed his SHU scale in…

Chilli Heat

A chile’s heat depends on its concentration of capsaicin, measured in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Wilbur Scoville developed his SHU scale in 1912 as a method for rating fruits from the Capsicum genus – including chillis. His method involved diluting chile extract with sugar water until no additional heat could be felt, at which point the Scoville scale assigned numbers according to subjective ratings from observers. Today high performance liquid chromatography measures pepper oil concentration in order to accurately quantify capsaicin concentration levels in each pepper’s oil.

Capsaicin attaches to receptors on your tongue known as TRPV1 that detect pain. Once bound to these receptors, capsaicin triggers them and sends an impulse to your brain which causes eyes and nose widen in response to discomfort you are feeling; this sensation usually lasts only briefly but may become intense; though no damage should occur to tongue, mouth, or throat as a result of exposure to capsaicin.

Chillies have developed to be hot, with several theories as to why this may have taken place. One is that it serves as a defense against would-be mammal predators who may be put off by its scorching heat; another theory holds that it allows seeds from these chiles to disseminate via droppings; yet recent research conducted in Bolivia indicates it could actually have evolved more likely as a strategy to defend against fungal infection.

Oft believed, extracting the seeds of chillies to lessen their spice level isn’t always accurate – in fact, more spicy chiles contain more capsaicin which in turn contributes to their heat.

At our online store, we offer some of the spiciest, fieriest, and ear-vibrating varieties available anywhere online. In addition, there are also milder options if you just want something different or to experiment with new flavors without overwhelming heat levels.

Our selection includes an assortment of sizes and colours designed to complement any dish, from tiny micro pepper seeds perfect for garnishing to the intense Bhut Jolokia chile from northeast India that can reach 1.5 million Scoville Heat Units – so hot that locals use it to smear their fences against elephants! In addition, we have spicy versions of our favourite savoury dishes such as Chilli Pepper Hummus.

As soon as you’ve handled chillies, ensure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling them – particularly if chopping or peeling – to reduce oil transference from them onto cooking utensils and skin. Furthermore, take care when eating spicy dishes to not breathe in excess air which could damage lungs. Taking small sips of water or beer between mouthfuls of spicy food will dilute its effects of capsaicin to make swallowing it easier and avoid tongue burn.