The Basics of Capsaicin

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Interviewer: Doctor, can you explain what Capsaicinoids are and what's the
difference between that and Capsaicin, which I think people are somewhat
familiar with?

Dr. Bloomer: Sure, well capsaicinoids would be a general broad class, it's
the naturally occurring, pungent principle within red hot pepper. Capsaicin
on the other hand is one specific component of the capsaicinoid class and
it's really the prime component. We also have a dihydro-capsaicin a
nordihydro-capsaicin and others but capsaicinoids is the general broad
class. Again, the hot component, the heat component, within red hot pepper,
capsaicin is the chief active principle among the capsacinoids. And I think
if you look at, for example, the Scoville heat rating scale, capsaicin is
rated at approximately 15 million, which is obviously incredibly high and
not something that most individuals would want to consume in high

Interviewer: So, is it just the one type of pepper? I mean, we can get heat
from a variety of sources, so it's not necessarily just to heat that are
the capsaicinoids?

Dr. Bloomer: Yeah the pepper itself, the peppers I should say, are rated,
you know, based on this scale that was developed I think back in the early
1900's by an American pharmacist, But that particular scale will have
individuals, generally 5 tasters, you evaluate various extracts of the
pepper. And some of these peppers are relatively low. For example, a green
Bell pepper would have essentially a rating of zero. There's no heat that's
gained from that pepper. Whereas some of the chilies you may be looking at,
values in the couple hundred thousand. And then you look at the specific
extract from some of the extremely hot peppers, we're looking at values
into the millions. So, capsaicin would be the highest and that would be
again, somewhere in the neighborhood of around 15 million.
Dr. Richard J. Bloomer discusses capsaicin and capsaicinoids. Find out what the difference is and where the capsaicin comes from.

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