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Hot pepper health – half a million study says YES Healthy hot peppers Hot pepper health – half a million study says YES

Huge study involving over half a million

This huge study was done by combining research in many smaller studies. A meta study is one that attempts to bring together many other studies to gain some knowledge. This meta study from the Cleveland clinic USA examined studies covering over half a million people world wide. We are all concerned about the effects of foods on our health and this very large study is very credible due to the scale.


The study concluded that it appears eating chilli’s can improve hot pepper health. It can reduce strokes, improve heart condition, make you live longer, and reduce cancer risk. Pretty stunning results we think. Even the study head Dr Bo Xu was surprised by how convincing the results were he said

“We were surprised to find that in these previously published studies, regular consumption of chili pepper was associated with an overall risk-reduction of all-cause, [cardiovascular disease] and cancer mortality,” 

The findings conclusions were that people who ate chilli had:  

  • a 26% relative reduction in cardiovascular mortality;
  • a 23% relative reduction in cancer mortality; and
  • a 25% relative reduction in all-cause mortality.

The study says that The exact reasons and mechanisms that might explain our findings, though, are currently unknown.  This points to a lot more hot pepper health study needed.

You can read the whole study here at the American heart association LINK TO HEART STUDY

Eating raw chilli peppers is one way to get them in your diet, but a simpler way is to buy our chilli sauce. Our sauce contains no additives or preservatives. its a pure and healthy chilli sauce click below to buy

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Scoville Scale – How the heat in peppers is measured

Aged Hot Sauce, scotch bonnet hot sauce, best hot sauce uk, home made hot sauce
Hot Sauce Scoville Scale
Ghost Pepper Image by jim CARNAHAN from Pixabay

In around 1912 Wilbur Scoville a chemist working for Parke Davis a US pharmaceutical company, designed a way to show the heat delivered by different peppers. He created a method (  “Scoville Organoleptic Test” ) to judge heat of peppers by diluting them until the affects were no longer noticeable, and then measuring how much dilution he used. He is also the first person to point out that milk mollifies the heat. He won numerous awards for his work. Based on that test pure Capsaicin the actual substance within peppers that causes the burn is 16m units and a bell pepper or sweet pepper is 0. The pepper in the image above is the ghost pepper from India with 1m units. See more information at LINK

A recently published report by Harvard University about the origin of heat in peppers throws light on the origin of hot sauce scoville scale heat.

It amazed me that all the pepper lovers in the world only got what they love, by a tiny change that a primitive early ancestor of peppers made to protect itself from attack by predators.

Capsaicin – the basis of Hot Sauce Scoville Scale

It seems that there are two factors at work in the make up of the peppers chemistry, one is that rodents eat peppers and love them and they have such fine teeth they eat the seeds to the point they cannot germinate whereas birds eat the flesh and drop the seeds. So the plant developed a small metabolic change to create capsaicin the heat in peppers as the birds don’t taste the heat but rats do, so this deterred the rats. Pepper plants are also attacked by insects that suck the juices, and this defence also deters them.

The second is mould. Now peppers grow in moist environments and are very prone to mould and fungus, which attacks the buds and stops the peppers growing. Capsaicin deters mould and fungus so stops that attack as well. At Ooft! we notice this as when we age our peppers over two to three years, not only do we notice no deterioration, but laboratory analysis confirms that the peppers stay pure which explains our two year shelf life.

The article points out that the peppers pay a price for the defence. Producing the complex molecules for heat weakens the plants water retention capability and pepper plants with heat are much less resistant to drought than sweet peppers. Its a trade off they have made over time, but are we not so grateful. Without this development we would not have our hot sauce scoville scale.

Our thoughts on Heat from Peppers

LINK TO ARTICLE on how peppers protect themselves from attack.

Many chilli sauces boast of their heat but here at Ooft! we do not join that crowd at all. Our sauce is around 300,000 units on the Hot Sauce Scoville Scale but what we curate and care about is the flavour, the fruity unique taste of the scotch bonnet pepper. Although the scale is useful as a crude gauge it is meaningless when applied to individuals. So for one person 5,000 units of a Jalapeno might cause them to sneeze and their eyes to run for another it’s just not hot. Everyone has different tolerances. Thrill List a blog gives a nice glimpse into this world of chilli eaters LINK

To try our pepper sauces and get not just the burn but also the aged rich taste of the worlds finest chilli’s click below to buy

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Hot Sauce Facts – Can hot sauce make you ill?

hot sauce facts
hot sauce facts
Ooft! Hot Sauce

Can Chilli’s -make you ill, make your pets ill, make you high? – hot sauce facts

I was looking at Google the other day and did a search on what people ask about pepper sauce. The questions were often unusual but fell into categories I guess so I will have a try at answering the more common ones with hot sauce facts.

Can pepper condiment kill cats or dogs or other pets? – Pets are often more sensitive than humans. A good guideline might be would you give your baby hot sauce? The answer is definitely not. We do not know how different animals sense taste but I suspect its much better than us so what to you might be a lovely warm glow might be for them a frightening burn. Better to be safe and not try this.

Can chilli condiment give you headaches? – An excess of anything is bad. Even seasoned chilli heads taking a spoon of hot sauce can get hiccups, red faced runny nose and feel nauseous. Hot Sauce is a condiment, so would you for example put a tablespoon of Black pepper in your mouth? I doubt it. Can it cause headaches? Maybe if you took enough and didn’t take it with food. used sparingly and wisely hot sauce can do wonders for the taste of food enlivening it and making it richer tasting, just don’t overdo it.

Can chilli Sauce give you stomach ache? – See headaches. Yes I think if you ate it raw without food and you ate enough it might. But please don’t, be sensible eat it sparingly with food.

Can chilli Sauce make you high? – Well that’s never happened to me although when I eat it with food I get a smile on my face. No I do not think so, probably an urban myth

Can Hot Sauce expire – Well yes, in fact most have an expiry date. But we have also found that many hot sauces deteriorate when opened and get a film on the surface and change colour. Best to keep in the fridge. This does not happen with ours, but we have encountered it with some top brands.

Can chilli condiment Blind You? – have you ever heard of police using pepper spray? Well that’s hot sauce in a spray bottle essentially. A strong mix probably but hot sauce none the less. When we manufacture we wear double gloves. our scotch bonnet peppers are 300,000 on Scoville scale and that’s no joke. If you do get it in your eyes by accident wash with clean water immediately. it will sting for a while but I do not think it will blind you.

Can chilli condiment go bad? – see Expire above for detail. yes it can, best kept in fridge.

Can chilli Sauce Kill You – Everyone is different. I have red of people with peanut allergies dying from less than a 1/4 teaspoon of peanut butter. So potentially if your allergic it could cause problems. having said that its NOT an allergen recognised by the EU or FDA and I have never heard of anyone dying from pepper eating. In some cultures people eat the hottest peppers raw. Also its true that you become acclimatised and need more as you become accustomed to the heat. In India they have a competition every year and the winner eats like 3-5kg of raw hot peppers and they do not die from it.

Can chilli improve your sex life? – Some people think anything with heat has some affect on sex. There is no evidence of this. But having said that many people enjoy oysters with a hint of heat and oysters are a reputed aphrodisiac…so…

Does hot sauce go well with…? – We get asked this all the time about such a wide variety of foods. We are often surprised ourselves. One of our customers cannot eat scrambled eggs without Ooft!. The real answer is peppers go well with virtually any dish, sometimes in the dish as with soups and stews and chilli’s, sometimes over the dish, be experimental and try. Let us know we are always looking for unusual pairings and a surprise might be in your post box.

I hope this helps. Any more questions write to us at about hot sauce facts

Hot Sauce facts – you won’t go wrong buying our Ooft! you can click the button below to buy

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Ainsley Harriott Recipes – our favourites

Ainsley Harriott Recipes
Ainsley Harriott Recipes
Ainsley Harriot

Ainsley Harriott. We first became aware of this amazing Chef when we watched his Caribbean cooking show on BBC. So cheerful and so full of energy. His respect for local chefs and cooks who he worked with on all the shows was evident as was his love for life and food.

We watched every episode as he also showcased the cooking of each island including Trinidad and Tobago. LINK TO HIS WEBSITE

Favourite Ainsley Harriott Recipes

Caribbean Fish Curry with Spinach & Coconut

This works so well with a very inexpensive Hake steak. making it a healthy nutritious and fun meal. LINK TO RECIPE

Caribbean Lamb & Sweet Potato Curry with Clap-Hand Roti

This succulent lamb dish served with simple roti or pita bread is great warming food for a cold night LINK TO RECIPE

Ainsley Harriott recipes on BBC

Many of Ainsley Harriott recipes are available at the BBC web site LINK TO RECIPES

Many of his recipes work really well with our scotch bonnet hot sauce. you can buy this now by clicking button below

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Ainsley Harriott has been a Calypsonian and toured Europe in the 1990’s but then turned to his cooking talents and became resident Chef on Good Morning TV. His chops include a stint on Red Dwarf! See his amazing ebullience in this vintage calypso on YouTube See link

His career is amazing having written many best selling books on cooking and food. See link to amazon page

What an all round man, and what a cheerful up beat presence that dominates the screen on his shows. We are hoping that in 2021 he will be back with more Caribbean favourites

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Ooft! at Loch Lomond Springfest

Springfest on Lock Lomond

Ooft! at Loch Lomond in early April at the Springfest.

Ooft! at Loch Lomond, as part of the great culinary adventure. Chef Martin Sweeney was the host of Culinary adventures at the Lock Lomond Springfest in April LINK. This event is attracting increasing numbers of visitors due to its lovely location on the banks of Loch Lomond at Balloch. The two days featured live bands and exhibitions of birds of prey with lots of local shops and special offers.

Springfest on Lock Lomond
Springfest on Lock Lomond April 6 and 7


Chef martin Sweeney
Chef Martin Sweeney

Ooft! at Loch Lomond as part of the culinary offerings. As part of an extensive offering of local dishes Chef Martin used our Aged Ooft! Scotch Bonnet for a scallop Ceviche and our aged Chipotle as part of his lovely Blue Corn taco with Haggis. All the dishes were well received. You can buy Ooft! sauces using the following LINK

haggis taco
Chef Sweeney Haggis Taco with Chipotle



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Ooft! home made hot sauce on the Table

Ooft! home made hot sauce is very pleased to announce that the wonderful Glasgow Science Centre, (link to GSC Website)  one of Scotland’s premier visitor venues attracting thousands of families annually from all over the world has chosen Ooft! Hot Sauce to grace every table in the Centre Café. Hot Sauce is growing in popularity in the UK and in Scotland but except in specialist Caribbean restaurants its unheard of to find hot sauce next to the pepper and salt.  Buy your bottle of our award winning sauce now with THIS LINK

Continue reading Ooft! home made hot sauce on the Table

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Langholm Chilli Club on the map

Langholm Chilli Club arrives with a splash in 2018!

Langholm Scottish Borders

Just down the road from Ooft! a group of locals in the small pretty Borders town of Langholm got together and started a club. Now we are in Scotland the land of the golfer, the hunter, and the walker, but they chose to grow, compare, and taste, chilli’s from around the world. This year was their first festival and it drew a LOT of attention and already has over 270 members growing chillis.

BBC – The town that became Scotland’s Chilli Capital

The Times Newspaper – Langholm is the hot town for Chilli

Dumfries and Galloway News – Things are heating up in Langholm

The Dumfries and Galloway News said

By declaring the town the Chilli Capital of Scotland, the Langholm Chilli Club is hoping to attract visitors with the development of a new Chilli Trail and the first ever Chilli Fest at the end of September.

In Langholm, the Chilli Capital of Scotland, there are currently:

  • around 350 households growing chilli plants (Langholm has a population of 1800 and around 910 households) or one third of households
  • 3500+ chilli seeds have been planted in the town in 2018
  • at least 1,000 chilli plants
  • 53 different varieties of chilli, including the ‘Hottest Chilli’ the Carolina Reaper
  • 21 local businesses have their chillis on display
  • Langholm Chilli Club has around 60 people waiting to receive seeds and members across the world including Canada, US and Portugal.

They have their own Facebook page – Langholm Chilli Club

and are already planning their 2019 enlarged festival. It is so nice to see people get so excited about chilli’s. Clubs come and go but there is a real love of the chilli in Langholm and plans afoot to do something special in 2019! Their FB page self description is “We’re going to grow Chillis! In Langholm, Eskdale, Canonbie and ANYWHERE! For no other reason than because they’re AWESOME! “. That says it all.


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Hot Sauce recipe – Making Ooft! – Part One

hot sauce recipe


bad pepper
Fungus attacking pepper

part of the process

Hot sauce recipe – Making Ooft!

Hot sauce recipe – When we make Ooft! part of the process is checking each individual pepper for quality. So in the picture above carefully hand washed peppers are being checked, topped, and chopped ready for “long term aging”. The centre of the image shows the tops, sometimes they pull off but often have to be cut off. On the left is the good chopped and checked peppers. The top picture shows one of the problems we get, peppers are susceptible to attack and that’s why we hand check each one. We get our peppers from an importer in 3kg boxes which contain over 1000 peppers each so as you can work out this is a time consuming process. Our peppers come from the Caribbean the finest quality we can buy. But we believe its essential to start off right with clean peppers that have been rigorously checked inside and out.

As far as we know we are the ONLY hot sauce maker that does this. Imagine what is going into other sauces as they just blend it all up bad and good and bottle it!. Buy our sauce now using THIS LINK

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Extreme Hot Sauce using Carolina Reaper – Dangerously Hot

Extreme hot sauces - Carolina Reaper

Extreme Hot Sauces

Extreme hot sauce are we going too far? In a report on the BBC in April a man ate a Carolina Reaper pepper and ended up in hospital with a massive migraine. Doctors seem to think the pepper constricted the blood to his brain. LINK to story on BBC.

How did we get here? Well starting with Tabasco people have loved hot sauce for over 100 years. In the Caribbean hot sauce or pepper sauce is used daily on almost all meals. In fact as I often tell people on farmers markets if you go into KFC or Pizza Hut in Trinidad they offer you three sauces, ketchup, mustard and hot sauce all in sachets. Hot peppers are grown all over the Caribbean the most popular being scotch bonnet which we use in our Ooft! Aged Hot Sauce.

A Developing Story

So farmers noticed over time natural hybrids and began to name them, so in Trinidad there was a kind of blistery looking pepper and boy it was hot so they called it 3 pot as it could be used three times “in the pot”. So to get this, cooks in Trinidad pop a whole pepper into a stew or soup to add flavour. If it doesn’t burst then its mostly flavour with a little heat. So a 3 pot could be retrieved and used again. Later another farmer found an even hotter and named it 5 pot and later still a hotter named 7 pot. One farmer found a variety growing with a tail  and named it Scorpion as that’s what it looked like. After all the scotch bonnet got its name because it looked like a tam o’ shanter hat.

Scientists and Carolina Reaper

Now we move to the technicians, people who breed plants and hybridize them. In Carolina a man hybridised a pepper plant and got an amazingly hot pepper and called it Carolina Reaper and that’s the one that caused all the headaches! In fact it looks a lot like a Trinidad Scorpion, but then they all come from the same stock. LINK to The man who developed this hybrid

Carolina Reaper
Carolina Reaper

Our Opinion

What does Ooft! think of all this? Well we don’t follow fashion. Our sauce is based on scotch bonnets slow aged to develop flavour not heat. Yes its a hot sauce but chasing the heat for us misses the point. Hot sauce is not just heat its taste and we have tried so many other peppers to make a different sauce and just cannot match the taste of scotch bonnets. On your table you want salt and pepper and hot sauce, not a sauce that will give you a headache, but a sauce that will improve your food and make it come alive.

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Best Hot Sauce Brands – which is best?

hot sauce brands
hot sauces
IImage by Niamh O-shea from Pixabay

Best Hot Sauce Brands – history

Tabasco – The oldest known of best hot sauce brands is Tabasco who started making their own in 1868. Tabasco is also the most sold world wide. Tabasco is unique in that the liquid in the bottle is just that, strained liquid by product of aging the peppers in barrels.

Franks Red Hot claims to have started in 1920 in Detroit USA, but they really became well known much later in 1964 when they covered the first buffalo wings (or at least thats how the legend has it). We like our own buffalo wings see recipe at LINK

Pickapeppa – Started in 1920 in Jamaica and still around although if you taste it you will find its more like Worcester sauce and has little heat.

Crystal Hot Sauce – almost unknown outside Louisiana this sauce started in 1923 and is still going strong. The legend has it that the owner was going to open a syrup shop and found the recipe in a drawer from the previous tenant.

Hotter than the rest

Just because we don’t like extreme heat we thought we would cover this subject as well for those looking for pain! The ones listed below cover the worlds hottest, Carolina Reaper, Trinidad Scorpion and Ghost.

Hot Headz make a Trinidad Scorpion based sauce that’s pretty hot by anyone standards

The Chilli Mash company make a Carolina reaper sauce they claim is the hottest

Daves Gourmet makes a ghost pepper sauce that should give you the pain.