Focusing on the Vital Few and eliminating the Trivial Many.

What is Scoville Scale?

What is Scoville Scale? Where do Hot Peppers and Hot Sauces Fall?


Have you ever wondered, why hot peppers and chilies are so hot? And how to measure how hot they are? A chemist from the 1912 known as Wilbur Scoville also had the same questions, so, he developed a method to measure heat level of chile peppers and the test is even named after him as Scoville Scale. Scoville Scale is a subjected “dilution taste procedure”, and the heat levels in the original test were measured through mixed solutions of ground chiles and sugar-water, and the heat level was assigned to the pepper depending on how diluted it needed to be before it could no longer be felt or tasted. In order to find out how some hot and not so hot peppers and sauces measure on the Scoville Scale, please read below:


Capsaicin (cap-say-ah-ain) is the hot chile that is a standard against which all other peppers are measured through Scoville scale. According to several scoville tests conducted, pure capsaicin lies on the scale between 15,000,000-16,000,000 scoville units. Although with the advancement of chemical tests and procedures more advanced procedures such as electrochemistry and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are used, but Scoville measure is still also used for measuring the heat level.

Bell Peppers

Since bell peppers are so sweet, they are given a 0 on the scale of 100 units on Scoville scale.

Ghost Pepper

Ghost peppers are given are given more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the units are measured by measuring one part of chile heat per 1,000,000 drops of water, and on the scale per 1,000,000 drops of water would be measured as 1.5 Scoville units, only.

Carolina Repear

In 2013 according to the Guinness book of world records, Carolina Reaper was the hottest chile pepper on earth, and on Scoville units, it lies between 1560000- 220000.

The Cayenne Pepper:

The famous Cayenne Pepper does not make to the hot pepper list, because it only rates between 30,000-50,000 Scoville units, but it could be too mild for me but for some people this French spice is going to definitely be hot.


Our all-time favorite Jalapeno is not as hot as we think, and on the Scoville units it lies between 2500- 10,000 Scoville units.

Tobasco Sauce

We all know Tobasco as the hot sauce that will give you a burning sensation every time you eat it, and the Scoville scale shows the Tobasco sauce to be 8,000 units. The units could vary depending on what the hot sauce is combined with, greens or garlic or another ingredient.

Scoville scale and its name is kept as an owner to the name of the scientist and is also one of the most effective old times test for measuring the heat level of hot peppers and hot sauces. The above mentioned sauces and peppers are just few examples, but using Scoville Scale heat level of anything can be measured.






Leave a Reply