The “X” chili pepper is officially the hottest in the world. This was established by Guinness World Records which updated the list of records yesterday. The species is cultivated by Ed Currie, founder of the Puckerbutt Pepper Company of the United States, as well as creator of the other pepper species called Carolina Reaper, previous record holder.
The winner: “Culmax of a long work”
X has an average rating of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which is the hotness index. It thus undermines the previous record holder who instead had an average of 1.64 million SHU. As Guinness World Record explains, the index was calculated by Winthrop University in South Carolina which conducted tests using samples from the last four years. Currie celebrated the victory in a YouTube video: “This is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people,” he said. “They told us it couldn’t be done, they called us liars, and we showed them that Pepper X is actually the spiciest in the world.”
The Scoville scale
The spiciness of a chili pepper is determined by the amount of capsaicin it contains and is expressed by the Scoville scale (Scoville Heat Units, SHU). It was invented by pharmacologist Wilbur Scoville in 1912. In simple words, the scientist’s formulation measures the amount of water needed to dilute a chili pepper before the burning sensation is no longer perceptible on the palate. The degree of dilution for pure capsaicin was arbitrarily set by Scoville at 16,000,000.