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Chili Pepper
Botanical Name: Capsicum sp.

Chili pepper plant with oblong, red chilies.

Chili peppers are also known as chile peppers or hot peppers. They are the fruits of shrubby annuals, biennials and perennials belonging to the genus Capsicum.

There are many species and varieties ranging from very mild to extremely hot. The heat depends on the amount of Capsaicin.

Capsaicin is the main flavouring compound in hot chili peppers, and the more capsaicin in a chili pod, the hotter it is.

The heat is measured in Scoville Units.

Pure capsaicin is rated at 16,000,000 Scoville Units.

Bell peppers are rated at zero units, whereas the extremely hot Habanero peppers are rated at 200,000-350,000 units.

In general...

  • Mild = 0-5,000 Scoville Units
  • Medium = 5,000-20,000 Units
  • Hot = 20,000-70,000 Units
  • Extremely hot = 70,000-350,000 Units

Chili peppers are rich in antioxidants, and they contain many times more C-vitamin than citrus fruits.

China and Turkey are the world's largest producers of chili peppers.