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Measuring the hotness of a chilli pepper with FoodSense

On this page ZP has brought together support materials for those wishing to measure the hotness of chilli pepper. At the bottom of the page is a documented procedure available for download.


In the video below we show you how we measure a chilli pepper, and on the rest of this page we give written instructions and further background information.


In the video above you will see that ZP emphasises that when measuring chilli pepper that we suggest a 1 in 100 dilution. In order to preserve materials, such as ChilliPot Buffer, the volume of the buffer we suggest 0.1 g of chopped chillies in 10 ml of buffer , or 0.01 g of chopped chillies in 1 ml of buffer.

Of course it is hard to accurately weigh out 0.1 g and 0.01g and this should be taken into account when deciding upon your own final procedure, but reducing the amount of chilli pepper you weigh out will reduce the materials used per test and of course the cost per test.

The volume of buffer to sample ratio is decided upon because of the insolubility of capsaicin, click here for more details.


ZP has written a procedure for preparing dry chilli pepper samples for testing on FoodSense, please see document below. The procedure for preparing chilli powder for FoodSense is simple FOUR STEP procedure, which we have summarized here:

STEP ONE – Blend chillies in a food blender until finely chopped.

STEP TWO - Weigh 0.1 g of chopped chilli pepper and dissolve this in 10 ml of buffer. You can recued this to 0.01 g of chopped chilli peppers and suspend in 1 ml of buffer, but it is harder to accurately weigh out such small amounts.

STEP THREE – Vortex the suspension for two minutes. Please note for precise results this vortexing time must be kept consistent. It can be noted that some users leave the samples standing. In the video we suggest 1 hour, you can extend this to over night, this is because capsaicin is quite insoluble and so to ensure the most ‘accurate’ result they leave the suspension standing so that the poorly soluble capsaicin all extracts from the chilli pepper and dissolves into the buffer. For businesses where a precise and fast result is required then the 2-minute vortexing procedure can be used.

STEP FOUR – From STEP THREE you have a chilli pepper suspension. The sensor only requires 50 microlitres of sample, and so it is important to cover the tip of the sensor in line with the figure below.


A quick start guide to FoodSense can be found here, it is important to have first clicked and followed the instructions.


The settings specific to testing a chilli pepper suspension as prepared in the FOUR STEPS above above are shown in the Figure below.

Upon setting the Sample to Buffer ratio at 1:100 as shown above then next hit the Measure button on the app.

The test will proceed in line with the video below.

Measruing chilliesver1.0.0
Download PDF • 298KB

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