The traditional way of measuring the perceived heat of a chilli is the Scoville scale which involves panel testing of diluted extracts taken from chilli. But panels are very variable and the results appear to be a little unreliable.

But we know the class of chemicals that creates the sensation of heat: capsaicinoids. Can't we just measure those directly?

Is there a better analytical method for measuring the heat of a chilli?


1 Answer 1


Matt did find a method that uses HPLC on the peppers alone, not in a dish.

So given that the capsaicinoids is a class of compounds, each different capsaicinoid would have a different perceived hotness. So a chemical test would measure the concentration of each type capsaicinoid and then use a weighted average over the human perceived hotness for each member of the capsaicinoid class.


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