Home Thai Pepper Scoville Units (SHU)

Thai Pepper Scoville Units (SHU)

thai pepper scoville

Scoville Rating
50,000 - 100,000 SHU

Many Asian specialty stores carry fresh Thai peppers, but very few, if any, grocery stores or supermarkets offer this type of chili pepper. A mature Thai pepper boasts colors that are rich and deep. Typically, they are of a rich red or a deep hue of green. They are curvy in shape with a rather sharp pointed end. They grow to a length between one and three inches and are only about a half inch wide.

Various Uses

Many different cultures use the Thai pepper as part of their cuisine. The Asian culture uses more of this particular pepper than any other. They add this to their dishes, eat it fresh, and grind it into powder.  Worldwide, the Thai pepper is commonly used, in ground form, as a spice.

Chemical Compounds

The heat of the Thai pepper comes from chemical compounds, known as capsaicinoids. These are largely found in the membranes and seeds of the pepper. The capsaicinoids are behind the burning sensation produced by contact with the pepper. Many areas of the body can be affected by contact as well. Some of these effects are as follows:

  • Skin – Burning sensation and redness.
  • Mouth – Burning sensation and possible blistering.
  • Throat – Burning sensation and possible blistering.
  • Eyes – Watering and redness with excruciating pain.
  • Nose – Sneezing and runny.

All of these uncomfortable issues can easily be avoided by using caution when handling and processing any type of chili pepper. Wearing gloves is suggested to protect the hands. Individuals should take care not to touch other areas of the body. Contaminated eyes should be flushed immediately with cool water. Skin should be washed in baby shampoo or milk. Vegetable oil can also be used to remove the capsaicinoids from the skin.

The burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and stomach can be addressed by drinking milk. Milk has a lot of fat in it and the fat binds to the compounds, thus, alleviating the discomfort. Antacid liquid medications, available over-the-counter, will generally benefit the condition. Some individuals experience very little, if any, discomfort from the consumption of chili peppers.

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VasenkaPhotography / Foter / CC BY