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Chilli Sauce Craziness

We are coming towards the end of our summer but Britain is hotting up in the condiment market! In recent years, we have seen an explosion within the hot sauce sector! Some are calling it ‘The Nando’s effect’ with the influence of new international restaurants hitting our high streets and turning us Brits crazy for hot sauce.

Here are just a few interesting facts which are frequently asked about when it comes to chilli sauces

Why are chillies hot?
The heat of the chilli comes from a substance called capsaicin within the chilli which gives chillies their distinctive hot, peppery taste. This chemical stimulates areas of the skin and tongue that normally sense heat and pain, fooling the brain into thinking they are burning!

How is chilli hotness measured?
The heat of chillies is measure on the Scoville scale. The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers – or other spicy foods, as reported in Scoville heat units (SHU), a function of capsaicin concentration. This was originally tested and developed back in 1912 by Wilbur L. Scoville using a human tasting panel. Today the Scoville scale is still in use, although the human panel has been replaced by a high-pressure liquid chromatography machine.

Can you get desensitised to eating chilli?
The answer is yes people have been found trying to climb the Scoville scale, one at a time. Tests have showed that with successive exposure to equal concentrations of capsaicin, the sensation of pungency decreases.

How to soothe the burning feeling?
If you are looking to soothe the burn from chillies, you may be surprised to find that water will not help. This is because capsaicin is not soluble in water. Dairy products or fats might be your best bet, including drinking milk, eating yoghurt, ice cream or even peanut butter.

As interest in chilli grows, some restaurant chains are even offering customers a chilli challenge, daring them to climb up the Scoville scale, which measures the heat of chilli.

Many of our customers & others claim to have the hottest chilli sauce out there. We feel the only way to test this would be to try them yourselves!