Do you know the Scoville scale? 11 mild to flamin' hot chilli peppers

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Want to add some heat to your food? Here's the low-down on face-melting chillies..

Chilli peppers
You've probably tucked into a sweet bell pepper and necked a pint of water after a mouthful of jalapeños, but have you ever really thought about what makes one chilli hotter than another?

Back in 1912, a gastronomic legend called Wilbur Scoville decided he needed to rate chilli peppers on a scale of spiciness - you know the serious life issues that matter.

He developed the not-quite-so imaginatively named Scoville Scale that rates peppers based on Scoville Units. What the hell does this mean we hear you cry?! Well, Wilbur used human guinea pigs to evaluate how many parts of sugar water it took to neutralize the heat of a chilli - the more you need, the more Scoville Units the pepper variety has.

With us so far?



Nowadays human tasters are spared the agony of burning tongues, swollen lips and streaming eyes with a process called HPLC, or High Performance Liquid Chromotography , which measures the amount of capsaicin (the chemical that makes chillies hot) in parts per million.

Now that we've given you this incredibly accurate, university-style science lesson (as if!) here's what you really need to know...the mildest to the hottest, the gentle to the OMG WHAT IS THAT! Find out where 11 of the most popular spice infusers appear on Wilbur's scale...



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