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capsaicin New capsaicin measurement methodology at University of Louisiana in Lafayette

I met this girl, Maci Gauthreaux, a chemical engineering student at UL Lafayette, at Troy Primo's booth at the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo last Saturday. An extraordinarily intelligent young woman, and a real live wire, she is developing new methodology for measuring capsaicin content in chile peppers. Her initial calibrations were made using Jalape√Īo and Habanero, but when Troy provided some of his namesake peppers for her to test, it blew the scale completely, and she had to start all the way over. Her comment on the 7 Pot Primo: "This is the shit!"
 
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windchicken said:
 
I just had the same thought, CF.I imagine the Scoville yardstick is so entrenched now, however, that it would be hard to get anyone to make the switch.
Maybe for the public at large, but as with any scientific breakthrough it could help the research community. Kind of like that whole issue with a layman theory vs a true scientific theory.

Edit: btw. Winslow as a profile pic. Very funny.
 
I'm probably way out of my element here, but the lass is posing with what I equate to a grade school science fair board explaining HPLC testing for chiles.  If she has a new revolutionary way to measure the heat of chiles, I'm all for it! 
 
If it's HPLC "explained to the masses"....:shrug:  not that new... 
 
 
 
"analytical determination of scoville heat units using high pressure liquid chromatography"...is how chiles and other spices have been tested for pungency for decades. 
 
capsidadburn said:
Excellant Gary!
 
And you promised to send her some NagaBrain right?
 
Thanks Mike! I asked Maci and Troy about that‚ÄĒThey said when the protocol was formalized they'd begin accepting outside samples for testing‚ĶHe (Troy) has been encouraging me for a couple of years to have the NagaBrain tested, but I'm waiting until the heat levels are more consistent. Some are real spankers, right up there in the "big boy" weapons-grade range, and others are closer to Bhut/Naga range. I'm guessing maybe 1 in 5 pods are like the one in this photo. We cut up one such pod at Troy's booth Saturday, and everyone had a sliver. It was agreed that it was right up there with the hottest of the hot:
 
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ChileHeadCliff said:
Maybe for the public at large, but as with any scientific breakthrough it could help the research community. Kind of like that whole issue with a layman theory vs a true scientific theory.

Edit: btw. Winslow as a profile pic. Very funny.
 
Awesome Cliff, a Catdog fan! In all my years on THP you are the first to mention Winslow! :cool:
 
MisterBigglesworth said:
Well of course ULL would come up with this technique!
 
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Ain't it just so, MB! They just need to make the mascot a Primo Pepper instead whatever the heck that is… :cool:
 
Geonerd said:
And isn't it 16 PPM per Scoville, not 15? 
 
Agree that % C per weight of fresh pod, and/or total C mass per average pepper would be a better measure of real-world heat.
 
Don't know what that conversion is, only what I see on Maci's poster…The 1.2 SHU for the Primo seems a little low to me, and that 1 PPM difference would bring it up some, but even 1.3 still seems low to me for the recent generations of Primo...
 
D3monic said:
I just want to know if she's single ... my kinda girl 
 
Lol, D3, I believe I heard her mention a boyfriend, but no, there's not a ring….
 
Buzzman19 said:
Thats a lovely young lady, and brains too! 
 
Its exciting to think that new tech could come about to measure Scoville, or replace it.
 
She's a remarkable young woman, and a real joy to talk with. 
 
I'm excited that ULL is focusing more attention towards super hot chiles. I believe that with their renewed interest in chiles, Louisiana's 7 Pot Primo, the Hot Sauce Expo, and Butch Taylor's amazing work right across the river in South Mississippi, we are seeing a revival of what once was a strong, vibrant hot pepper culture here in Louisiana.
 
hot stuff said:
I wonder if Mark Zapp on the board is part of Zapp's potato chips.

I guess it's measuring ppm instead of scoville that's different?
 
Good question! To be honest, I'm not real sure what's different from Maci's test and the currently established Scoville test. As I said above, I'm just glad that that ULL and the people that do the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo are investing in and promoting super hot chile culture…The Lower Mississippi valley is the home of two of the world's great super hot peppers, after all, and I want us all here, Redneck and Cajun alike, to be proud of that :P
 
 

Yeah, but can you imagine Primo powder on Zapp's potato chips! That'll be awesome. From one Cajun to another.

Good question! To be honest, I'm not real sure what's different from Maci's test and the currently established Scoville test. As I said above, I'm just glad that that ULL and the people that do the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo are investing in and promoting super hot chile culture…The Lower Mississippi valley is the home of two of the world's great super hot peppers, after all, and I want us all here, Redneck and Cajun alike, to be proud of that :P
 
windchicken said:
 
She's a remarkable young woman, and a real joy to talk with. 
 
I'm excited that ULL is focusing more attention towards super hot chiles. I believe that with their renewed interest in chiles, Louisiana's 7 Pot Primo, the Hot Sauce Expo, and Butch Taylor's amazing work right across the river in South Mississippi, we are seeing a revival of what once was a strong, vibrant hot pepper culture here in Louisiana.
 
 
Good question! To be honest, I'm not real sure what's different from Maci's test and the currently established Scoville test. As I said above, I'm just glad that that ULL and the people that do the Louisiana Hot Sauce Expo are investing in and promoting super hot chile cultureThe Lower Mississippi valley is the home of two of the world's great super hot peppers, after all, and I want us all here, Redneck and Cajun alike, to be proud of that :P
It's really nice seeing that peppers are truly coming home. That said, and as much as the "accents" bothered me to no end, "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island," still pops into my head whenever Louisiana and Pepper are mentioned together. Lol. And yes. Was a big CatDog fan as a child! Rancid Rabbit and the Greasers were possibly two of my favorite characters. Well. 4 technically but still. Lol
 
I work in R&D for the top consumer products company in the world, working specifically in cosmetics, and deal with analytical analysis almost daily. As a non-volitile I would look at aligning the test with methods prescribed for, say, OMC (octylmethylcinnamate). I am not an analytical chemist, but I was bio-pre-med and know the tests used for these non volatiles may be complementary. Doc

I would also be aware of the amine bond in capsacin and look at, say, tests used for the 20 essential aminos, in prescribing a test method. This may not be the place for this discussion.
 
DocHolliday said:
I work in R&D for the top consumer products company in the world, working specifically in cosmetics, and deal with analytical analysis almost daily. As a non-volitile I would look at aligning the test with methods prescribed for, say, OMC (octylmethylcinnamate). I am not an analytical chemist, but I was bio-pre-med and know the tests used for these non volatiles may be complementary. Doc

I would also be aware of the amine bond in capsacin and look at, say, tests used for the 20 essential aminos, in prescribing a test method. This may not be the place for this discussion.
OMC. Oh man, I hate that stuff at least I think I do. Can't use any sunscreen with it in it. What's its purpose in sunscreen-off topic I know.

I would think anything enlightening us laymen on chemical analysis related to looking at chilies would be a great place for this discussion. Did you see anything in her presentation that looked like a new way for measuring capsaicin? How does the amine bond in capsaicin affect heat?
 
OMC is in more things than you know. I don't consider it a hazardous chemical. I know it has killed mice, but....anyway.
I really can't elaborate on testing methods used at my workplace, because some are proprietary. I think I offered some pointers on how I would approach the task of developing a test method, or where to look at numerous approaches that are very commonly used.

I believe the pathway has not been isolated in detail, but it's the diterpene attached to the homovanillic acid ester common to capsacin and resiniferatoxin that causes the burn.
 
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