New York: A new type of chilli, Pepper X, has taken away the title of the “hottest chilli pepper in the world” from the Carolina Reaper. The latter had held this record since 2013. The Guinness World Records (GWR) has described The Carolina Reaper as “hundreds of times hotter than a jalapeno pepper”. But Pepper X is even more pungent. The spiciness of chillies is measured in terms of Scoville Heat Units (SHU). While the Carolina Reaper rates an average of 1.64 million SHU, Pepper X stands at an average of a whopping 2,693,000 SHU.
The world’s spiciest chilli was grown by Ed Currie, who is the founder of Puckerbutt Pepper Company in South Carolina, USA. He is also the person who first grew the Carolina Reaper and clinched the title back in 2013. Currie presented Pepper X to the world on an episode of the YouTube series, “Hot Ones.” The official Guinness World Records (GWR) website explains, “Ed cultivated Pepper X on his farm for over 10 years, cross-breeding it with some of his hottest peppers to increase its capsaicin content”.
Capsaicin, an active component of chillies, is what triggers the distinctive “burning sensation” experienced after consuming them. The Scoville scale, created by an American chemist named Wilbur Scoville in the early 1900s, is based on the concentration of capsaicin. The GWR site has specifically debunked the myth that it is the seeds of chillies that make them pungent. Rather, it clarifies, “The capsaicin is contained in the placenta, the tissue which holds the seeds. Pepper X’s exterior has many curves and ridges, meaning there is more area inside for the placenta to gro