All Hot Peppers

The pungency in hot peppers comes from an alkaloid compound called “capsaicin” which is found only in the plant genus “Capsicum.” Pepper pungency is expressed in Scoville Heat Units. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper. The level of “heat” in a pepper fruit is a result of plant genetics and the environment. A hot pepper will be hotter if it is grown under stress such as hot weather or dry soil. About 80% of a pepper’s capsaicin is located in the seeds and its connecting veins. Hot pepper lovers or “chili-heads” often have a feeling of pleasure and well being after eating hot peppers. Endorphins are produced by the body in response to capsaicin.