The "Scoville Organoleptic Test" was developed in 1912 by Wilbur
Scoville to measure the heat level of chili peppers. Pure ground chilies
were mixed with sugar water, and a group of "testers" would
taste the solution. The solution was diluted in equal increments until the “hotness” was
no longer detected.
As an example, lets say you have a chile rated 3000 Scoville units. This
means if you used 1 tablespoon of this chili, you would have to combine it
with 3000 tablespoons of sugar water to dilute the concoction to where you
no longer feel the heat!
Today, a lab test called High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is used
to determine the hotness of peppers and the capsaicin level or Scoville units
of hot sauces. I guess it got too hot for human subjects to endure.
Below is a table showing the Scoville Heat Rating for various peppers.
Scoville Heat Rating
100 - 500
500 - 1000
1000 - 1500
Rocotillo/Numex Big Jim
1500 - 2500
2500 - 5000
5000 - 15000
15000 - 30000
30000 - 50000
50000 - 100,000
Habanero/Scotch Bonnet/Birds Eye
100,000 - 350,000
Red Savina Habanero
350,000 - 600,000
We at Heavenly Heat Hot Sauce rate our products on a Heat Rating Scale of
1 to 10 ++++. While we realize heat is subject to an individuals taste and
tolerance, we try to give you an accurate basis to go by. After all one man's
rated 6 may be another man's rated 8! If we have a Scoville rating from the
manufacturer and feel like it is accurate, we provide it in the product description.
A heat rating of 9 is the highest we rate a hot sauce that is hot from
the chiles only. Once pepper extract, or capsaicin is added we rate the sauces
10 or above.