The Show on KJZZ

Listen live weekdays at 9 a.m.

Jalapeños aren't as hot as they used to be. A look at the science behind the spicy

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, June 1, 2023 - 12:02pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (13.29 MB)

Jalapeno peppers
Getty Images

A recent article in the Dallas-based D Magazine addressed the gradual “de-heating” of jalapeño peppers in recent years. The piece points to consumer taste, a heartier fruit for shipping and larger, virus-free peppers as a cause. But ultimately, most jalapenos go to processors for canning, and they want mild peppers that they can add heat later.

This phenomenon did not go unacknowledged by The Show staff, so The Show invited Ken Sweat to talk to us about it.

Sweat is a professor in the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at ASU, and he has done extensive research into the heat levels of hot peppers.

The Show sat down with Sweat and a plateful of jalapeños — some store bought, some homegrown in Executive Producer Amy Silverman’s garden.

More stories from KJZZ

Science The Show Food + Restaurants