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27 October 2011 @ 12:25 am
Units of happiness - Scoville  
and coined by a pharmageek!

, n.
Pronunciation: Brit. /ˈskəʊvɪl/,  U.S. /ˈskoʊˌvɪl/
Etymology: < the name of Wilbur Lincoln Scoville (1865–1942), U.S. pharmacologist, who proposed a method for measuring the pungency of chilli peppers in 1912:
1912  W. L. Scoville in Jrnl. Amer. Pharm. Assoc. 1 454 The
method I have used is as follows: One grain of ground capsicum is
macerated over night in 100 cc. of alcohol. After thorough shaking,
filtered. This alcoholic solution is then added to sweetened water in
definite proportions until a distinct but weak pungency is perceptible
on the tongue. By this method, Japan Chillies tested 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 30,000‥and Mombassa Chillies 1 in 50,000 to 1 in 100,000.
 I.  Compounds.
 a.  Scoville test n. (also Scoville organoleptic testa
subjective measurement of the pungency of a chilli pepper, based on the
detectability of pungency in a solution made from the pepper in
1921 Jrnl. Amer. Pharm. Assoc. 10 427 The Scoville organoleptic test has been suggested for incorporation into the Capsicum Monograph.
1924 Jrnl. Amer. Pharm. Assoc. 13 219 The Scoville test shows itself readily adaptable to detect this variation in pungency.
1977 Jrnl. Food Sci. & Technol. 14 28 The international trade still prefers the Scoville test.
2004 Countryside & Small Stock Jrnl. (Nexis) July 57 The
original Scoville Organoleptic Test‥used a panel of five human samplers
who tasted and analyzed a solution made from exact weights of chili
peppers dissolved in alcohol and diluted with sugar water.
 b.  Scoville unit n. (also Scoville heat unit(originally)
the factor by which the chilli-pepper solution is diluted in the
Scoville test, used as a measure of the relative pungency of the pepper;
(hence) an equivalent number derived from an objective test, esp. the
use of gas chromatography to measure the quantity of capsaicin in a
1957 Food Tech. 11 102/2 Pure capsaicin‥was repeatedly examined for Scoville heat and found to be 15,000,000 Scoville units.
1977 Jrnl. Food Sci. & Technol. 14 28/2 The
sensory feeling of ‘bite’ or pungency at extreme dilutions‥is the basis
of these subjective tests and the reciprocal of the dilution is
expressed as Scoville heat units (SHU).
1986 Wall St. Jrnl. (Electronic ed.) 25 Nov. a1 A blistery ‘chile jalapeño’ is rated no more than 4,500 ‘Scoville units’.
2000 Daily Tel. 6 Sept. 17/7 The pungency of the chilli was recorded at 855K Scoville units.
 c.  Scoville scale n. a scale of the relative pungency of chilli peppers, measured in Scoville units.
1984  D. DeWitt  & N. Gerlach Fiery Cuisines ii. 14 On the Scoville scale, very mild heat rates about 100 units, while extremely hot chiles score over 10,000 units.
1990 San Francisco Chron. (Electronic ed.) 15 Jan. b3 The hotter the pepper‥the higher its score on what is now called the Scoville scale.
2005 Times Union(Albany, N.Y.) (Nexis) 24 June (Food section) 1 On the tell-tale Scoville scale, Anaheims weigh in at between 1,000 and 1,500.
 2.  General attrib.
1957 Food Technol. 11 102/2 Pure capsaicin‥was repeatedly examined for Scoville heat and found to be 15,000,000 Scoville units.
1978 Jrnl. Food Sci. 43 1633/2 The widely reported discrepancies‥of the Scoville results.
1989 Los Angeles Times (Electronic ed.) 16 Apr.In the pepper sauce business, hotness is measured by the Scoville Heat Index.
2005 Times Union(Albany, N.Y.) (Nexis) 24 June (Food section) 1 Habaneros, the mother of all hot chili peppers, get a Scoville rating between 100,000 and 350,000.
 II.  Simple uses.
 3.  = Scoville unit n. at sense 1b.
1978 Jrnl. Food Sci. 43 1663/2 We now consider a set of actual experimental data, obtained on ‘40,000 Scoville’ cayenne.
1984 Record(Bergen County, New Jersey) (Dow Jones Database) 12 Sept.She
has a panel of testers start by tasting a sample of synthetic pepper
with a known, unchanging rating of five out of a possible fifteen—or
20,000 ‘scovilles’, the unit of pepper heat devised in 1912 by a man
named W. L. Scoville.
2000 New Yorker 10 Jan. 29/2 Fire-engine-red‥hybrids register between six thousand and eight thousand Scovilles.

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