History of Chilies – Capsicum
It is believed that Capsicum has been cultivated by humans for 3,000 years. Chilies originate from the Americas, but have been widely cultivated in several other continents, including Europe, Asia and India, meaning World wide spread! Wilbur Lincoln Scoville, an American pharmacist took the interest to build a pungency scale to measure the potency of different Chilies. The Scoville Heat Unit scale or Scoville Organoleptic Test was completed by Wilburn Scoville in 1912. Nowadays, high-pressure liquid chromatography is used to measure the exact heat of capsicum. However, the scale of heat is still known as the Scoville Heat Unit – SHU.
Natural Chemical Compound in Chilies
There is a vast variety of Capsicum some of them are very low on piquancy, such as bell peppers. Some other Chilies are so potent that can make you feel like your mouth is on fire. In reality, the burning sensation we feel when we eat or touch sensitive parts of the body is an irritation caused by alkaloids, a natural chemical compound found in most Capsicum. Remember; do not drink water if you want to ease the heat sensation in your mouth as it will only spread it more. Drink milk if you want to reduce the pungency!
Hottest Chilies in the World
One of the spiciest Chili in the World is the Carolina Reaper, which holds the record of the hottest Chili in the World since 2013. This however, is a hybrid from Bhut Jolokia and Red Habanero. There has been speculation that the Dragon’s Breath and Pepper X, which should be twice as hot as the Carolina Reaper. This however has not yet been confirmed.
Health Benefits in Chilies
Chilies are very healthy for humans as they contain several vitamins, including; Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin K1, Potassium and Copper. There’s several studies has shown that capsaicin, which is a compound found in Chilies can help with weight loss, as it increases body fat burning and reduces appetite.