In a previous post I mentioned how cooking is chemistry and there are specialized fields of food chemistry. Something neat to learn is that scales for analyzing the spiciness of food and how intensely it will interact with your tongue have actually been developed. A food chemist by the name of Wilbur Scoville developed a scale for measuring how different pungent chemicals, called “capsinoids,” (based on the chemical capsaicin) will interact based on their dry weight concentration.
Different people have different sensitivities to the spice so the scale is somewhat subjective. You have probably seen these scales before (it is May 25, 2015, go into a Wendy’s and you will see a Scoville scale right now as they are advertising Ghost Pepper fries).
Wikipedia has a great article on this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scoville_scale.
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