Back in May this year, a Welsh farmer accidentally created the Dragon’s Breath chili, a chili pepper measuring an esophagus-blistering 2.48 million units on the Scoville heat scale. Now, there’s a new chili pepper on the block, measuring 3.18 million Scoville heat units.
Pepper X, appropriately sounding like something that should be locked away in a scientist's lab, was developed by Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Co. Ed is the same masochist who developed the infamous Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper which caught global attention in 2013 after being awarded the Guinness World Record for the World’s Hottest Chili at 1,569,300 Scovilles.
Currie showed off Pepper X on the First We Feast YouTube cooking show (video below) last week where he simply stated: “This is a dangerous pepper.” He has submitted the pepper to the Guinness World Records but it's still awaiting official confirmation to swipe the crown of the world’s hottest chili pepper. He’s also made a sauce called “The Last Dab”, which measures a sweltering 2.4 million Scoville heat units.
Pepper X was created through nearly 10 years of selective breeding of different chili peppers. It’s 3.18 million Scoville heat unit rating means that one cup of oil from this chili can be detected in 3.18 million cups of sugary water. For context, a jalapeno pepper is between 2,500 to 8,000 units and a bell pepper weighs in at a wimpy zero units.
Chili peppers get their “heat” from capsaicin and a bunch of other related chemicals. When ingested, capsaicin acts as an irritant, stimulating the pain receptors of the mouth and throat. Plants originally developed capsaicin to put animals off eating them, however, in a strange turn of events, many humans actively go out their way to eat chilis and spicy foods.
Perhaps, this is for good reason. Chilis and all things spicy are associated with numerous health benefits like lowered blood pressure. One study even claimed they could help you live longer.
This love for spiciness can have its downsides, however. Just last year a man was rushed to hospital with a nasty rupture in his esophagus after eating an intensely hot 1 million Scoville ghost pepper.