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How to extract pure capsaicin from hot chillies:6upqn55SgiVCXT8ct0926UkPwGZlMM0k5jYTkrnJ

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As explained earlier, capsaicin is an alkaloid produced by chillies and is used in an almost pure form in police tear gas or as an active ingredient in pepper spray.

NB This information is for illustrative purposes, we assume no responsibility for the misuse of this information.

Recall that the percentages of capsaicin contained in chillies are low, For example, a habanero of 500,000 SHU has about 3% of its weight in capsaicin. This means that with a kilogram of habaneros, we can get about 30 grams of pure capsaicin but being able to extract it at 100% is almost impossible if you do not have chemical laboratory instruments available.

There are different methods for doing the extraction, but we have chosen the simplest and most practical one which consists of melting the capsaicin to a liquid and then letting it evaporate to obtain the capsaicin crystals of high purity. At this point, we must decide whether the use of the product is for food or not.

Capsaicin for food use

If the product that you will extract is for food use (just a very small amount for a pasta dish) we need food alcohol which you can find for sale in any supermarket.

Capsaicin not for food use

If you do not intend to use it for food but for other reasons instead, it is possible to extract it with low-cost solutions, for example, you can use acetone available in hardware, white oil or naphtha.

You will need:

  • Containers or trays

  • Solvent (alcohol, naphtha, acetone, etc.)

  • Chillies

  • Fine-knit sieve or pantyhose


The procedure is very simple, blend the chillies until they are reduced to a pulp and add 1 liter of solvent for each kilogram of chillies. Leave to rest for 2-3 days. Now filter the mash to separate the liquid with a sieve or women's pantyhose. You will notice that the solvent (liquid) has a different color and is denser. Now just wait until it evaporates, leave the container in the open air for a few days. At the base, a layer of capsaicin will form. At that point, you can scrape it off and crush it into powder. To speed up the evaporation you can put the container in a bain-marie or heat it but you have to be very careful because you are working with flammable material.

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