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Who is Wilbur Scoville?

Portrait of Wilbur Scoville Wilbur Lincoln Scoville was a pharmacist that made his last name famous by his creation of "The Scoville Organoleptic Test" otherwise known as the Scoville scale. In Scoville’s method a specific amount of the peppers heat source, capsaicin oil, is added to increasingly larger amounts of sugar-water until a small group of tasters can’t detect the heat. How would you like that job?

Wilbur Scoville lived from 1865-1942. He's famous mostly for his heat scale work at Park Davis, a Detroit-based pharmaceutical company, where he devised a heat scale for peppers. However Scoville was also a pharmacist, a research scientist and a notable author. His book The Art of Compounding was published in 1895 and was used for nearly 70 years as the definitive reference for pharmacology. He also authored a lesser know work entitled Extracts and Perfumes. Some of his other works in his field earned him awards from the American Pharmaceutical Association.


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