Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists Measure Chilli Sauce Hotness With Nanotubes

Date:
May 8, 2008
Source:
Royal Society of Chemistry
Summary:
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and into the lab -- chemists can now use carbon nanotubes to judge the heat of chilli sauces. The technology might soon be available commercially as a cheap, disposable sensor for use in the food industry.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and into the lab – chemists can now use carbon nanotubes to judge the heat of chilli sauces. The technology might soon be available commercially as a cheap, disposable sensor for use in the food industry.

Related Articles


Richard Compton and his team at Oxford University, UK, have developed a sensitive technique to measure the levels of capsaicinoids, the substances that make chillies hot, in samples of chilli sauce. They report their findings in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal The Analyst.

The current industry procedure is to use a panel of taste-testers, and is highly subjective. Compton’s new method unambiguously determines the precise amount of capsaicinoids, and is not only quicker and cheaper than taste-testers but more reliable for purposes of food standards; tests could be rapidly carried out on the production line.

They tested a range of chilli sauces, from the mild “Tabasco Green Pepper” sauce to “Mad Dog’s Revenge”, which sports an extensive health warning and liability disclaimer.

The well-established Scoville method – currently the industry standard – involves diluting a sample until five trained taste testers cannot detect any heat from the chilli. The number of dilutions is called the Scoville rating; the relatively mild Jalapeρo ranges from around 2500-8000, whereas the hottest chilli in the world, the “Naga Jolokia”, has a rating of 1000000.

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can also be used, but this requires bulky, expensive equipment and detailed analysis of the capsaicinoids.

In Compton’s method, the capsaicinoids are adsorbed onto multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) electrodes. The team measures the current change as the capsaicinoids are oxidised by an electrochemical reaction, and this reading can be translated into Scoville units.

The technique is called adsorptive stripping voltammetry (ASV), and is a relatively simple electrochemical method. Compton says, “ASV is a fantastic detection technique for capsaicinoids because it’s so simple - it integrates over all of the heat creating constituents because all of the capsaicinoids have essentially the same electrochemical response.”

Compton has applied for a patent on the technology, and Oxford University’s technology transfer subsidiary ISIS Innovation is actively seeking backers to commercialise the technique.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Royal Society of Chemistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Roohollah Torabi Kachoosangi, Gregory G. Wildgoose, Richard G. Compton. Carbon nanotube-based electrochemical sensors for quantifying the %u2018heat%u2019 of chilli peppers: the adsorptive stripping voltammetric determination of capsaicin. The Analyst, 2008; 133 (7): 888 DOI: 10.1039/b803588a

Cite This Page:

Royal Society of Chemistry. "Chemists Measure Chilli Sauce Hotness With Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506115604.htm>.
Royal Society of Chemistry. (2008, May 8). Chemists Measure Chilli Sauce Hotness With Nanotubes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506115604.htm
Royal Society of Chemistry. "Chemists Measure Chilli Sauce Hotness With Nanotubes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080506115604.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

NASA's First 3-D Printer In Space Creates Its First Object

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — The International Space Station is now using a proof-of-concept 3D printer to test additive printing in a weightless, isolated environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins