Scoville Scale: How Hot Are Takis

cayenne peppers in a bowl, with ground cayenne in spoon nearby
Thanatip S./Shutterstock.com

Written by Colby Maxwell

Updated: October 2, 2023

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A spicy, crunchy snack is something that everyone can appreciate! It’s no wonder that Takis, maybe the spiciest and crunchiest snack in the world, are so popular. Anyone who has tried Takis knows that a single one isn’t enough and that the only way to keep the heat away is to keep eating more! Within seconds, spice-tolerant people are pleasantly burning, while non-spice-tolerant people are crying, sweating, and begging for milk! Today, we are going to be looking at Takis, specifically, how hot they are in regards to the Scoville Scale. Let’s get started!

How Hot Are Takis?

Takis (the Fuego version) are estimated to be between 8,000 and 9,000 Scoville units, although the system used for rating foods is designed to work with peppers, not snack foods.

Takis are a brand of rolled tortilla chips that are made with corn, vegetable oil, and a spicy chili powder seasoning. They were first created in Mexico by Barcel, a Mexican snack food company. The brand gained popularity in the United States in the 2000s and are now widely available in many countries around the world. The unique rolled texture and flavor of Takis have made them a popular snack for people all over, especially teenagers. They come in various flavors, including Fuego, Nitro, and Salsa Brava. Although a few years ago, Takis were only available in Hispanic markets in the United States, they are now widely distributed in most grocery stores nationally (which means you have no excuse not to try them)!

It’s important to note that Takis don’t have an official Scoville ranking, primarily because the scale isn’t designed to measure snack foods and is mostly used to determine peppers themselves. There is a bit of debate online, with some sources even claiming that Takis are 1.2 million shu (Scoville heat units), but this is almost certainly not the case.

What is the Scoville Scale?

carolina reaper peppers on white background

Carolina Reaper peppers have a Scoville score of 2 million, which shows how much spicier you can get than Takis!

The Scoville scale is a measurement used to determine the level of heat in a chili pepper. It was invented by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. The scale ranges from 0 to over 3 million, with 0 being no heat and 3 million being extremely hot. The measurement is based on the concentration of capsaicin, the compound that causes the burning sensation in the mouth.

To determine the Scoville rating, a solution is made by extracting capsaicin from a pepper and then diluting it with sugar water. A panel of testers then tastes the solution, starting with the lowest dilution and working their way up until they can no longer detect any heat. The number of dilutions required to reach this point is the pepper’s Scoville rating.

For example, a pepper with a Scoville rating of 1,000 would require 1,000 times more dilution to reach the point where the heat is undetectable. This method was used until the 1990s, and it was a time-consuming and subjective process. Today, the Scoville scale is measured more accurately by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) method.

The Scoville scale is widely used in the food industry, and it is a common way to measure the heat of chili peppers. It is used by pepper growers, chefs, and food manufacturers to create products with a desired level of heat. The most common peppers that are found in groceries such as bell pepper, have a Scoville rating of 0, while the hottest pepper on record, the Carolina Reaper, has a rating of over 2 million.

The Different Types of Takis

There are a LOT of Takis flavors, some of them permanent and some of them limited edition. Here are some of the most common:

  • Fuego – hot chili pepper and lime
  • Nitro – habanero, lime, and cucumber
  • Blue Heat – chili pepper and less spice than Fuego (plus blue!)
  • Crunchy Fajita – intense spice and fajita flavor
  • Guacamole – spicy guacamole
  • Xplosion – chili pepper and cheese

Additionally, here is a (somewhat) complete list of the currently available Takis:

  • Takis Angry Burger
  • Takis Blue Heat
  • Takis Chippz Fuego new
  • Takis Crisps Fuego
  • Takis Crunchy Fajita
  • Takis Fuego
  • Takis Hot Nuts Flare
  • Takis Hot Nuts Fuego
  • Takis Huakamoles
  • Takis Kettlez Habanero Fury
  • Takis Kettlez Jalapeño Typhoon
  • Takis Lava
  • Takis Nitro
  • Takis Scorpion BBQ
  • Takis Stix Flare
  • Takis Stix Fuego
  • Takis Titan
  • Takis Volcano Queso
  • Takis Waves Fuego
  • Takis Wild
  • Takis Xplosion
  • Takis Xtra Hot
  • Takis Zombie Nitro
  • Taquis Authentic Taco Flavor
  • Taquis Guacamole
  • Taquis Salsa Brava

Since there is no official heat rating for Takis, the only method for seeing which is the spiciest is through popular opinion. For most people, the Fuego is the hottest of the bunch, despite the Nitro version having habanero as a main ingredient, although this is pretty subjective. The least spicy of them all is between the Xplosion, Crunchy Fajita, and Guacamole, at least, that’s what Redditors online say.

As a tip, if Takis are too spicy for you, dipping them in sour cream or using them as a topping for salads, sandwiches, or tacos is a great alternative. You can still get some of the flavors without the intense heat!

Examples of the Scoville Scale

Scoville Pepper Scale

Takis have 8,000 to 9,000 Scoville units, which puts them just below Aleppo peppers

For reference, here are some examples that show the Scoville Scale!

  1. Bell pepper – 0 Scoville units
  2. Poblano pepper – 1,000-2,000 Scoville units
  3. Jalapeno pepper – 2,500-8,000 Scoville units
  4. Serrano pepper – 10,000-25,000 Scoville units
  5. Cayenne pepper – 30,000-50,000 Scoville units
  6. Habanero pepper – 100,000-350,000 Scoville units
  7. Ghost pepper (Bhut Jolokia) – 800,000-1,041,427 Scoville units
  8. Trinidad Scorpion pepper – 1,200,000-2,000,000 Scoville units
  9. Carolina Reaper – 1,400,000-2,200,000 Scoville units

Are Takis vegan?

Although it may not be broadcast or used in marketing messages, there are many foods on the grocery store aisles that are vegan that you may or may not know about.

In fact, Takis are one of those foods! Before there is too much excitement, only certain Takis flavors are vegan. Actually, most of their flavors qualify, and this means that they are free from animal products, which also means you would avoid dairy and egg allergens.

If you are looking for vegan flavors, you can look at Original Fuego, Nitro, Spicy BBQ Outlaw, Habanero, Dragon Spicy Sweet Chili Flavor (limited edition), and Blue Heat.

As we mentioned, not all Takis are vegan, so you want to be aware of which flavors to avoid if that is not what you are looking for. Some of the non-vegan flavors are: Guacamole, Crunchy Fajitas, Chipotle Ranch, and Nacho Xplosion Zesty Nacho Cheese.


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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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