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This is the Newest World’s Hottest Pepper

By Orgesta Tolaj


26 October 2023

world hottest peppers

©️ Midjourney

The queen has officially been dethroned! Carolina Reaper is no longer the world’s hottest pepper. The Guinness World Record recently confirmed the news that Pepper X, a yellowish-green pepper, is now officially the world’s hottest pepper. Ed Currie, the founder of PuckerButt Pepper Co., has dedicated the past decade to developing Pepper X, a chili pepper known for its intense and immediate spiciness. Part of this effort involved spending five years demonstrating that Pepper X was distinct from other peppers, with unique characteristics, and documenting its average heat levels across various plants and generations.

The Introduction to the World’s Hottest Pepper

Ed Currie, the founder of the PuckerButt Pepper Company based in South Carolina, made a notable appearance on the popular YouTube show, Hot Ones. During his appearance, he received a prestigious Guinness award and unveiled a new, incredibly spicy pepper variety known as Pepper X to the world.

world's hottest pepper Pepper X
© First We Feast / Youtube

To assess the intensity of Pepper X’s spiciness, Guinness officials relied on the Scoville Scale. This scale, which was developed in 1912, is a standardized method for measuring the heat level of peppers. It does so by quantifying the concentration of capsaicinoids, the chemical compounds responsible for the sensation of spiciness.

The Scoville Scale of Pepper X

Pepper X, as it turns out, ranks exceptionally high on the Scoville Scale, with an average rating of 2.693 million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). To put this into perspective, a relatively mild jalapeño typically registers between 2,000 and 8,000 SHUs, while a serrano pepper can range from 10,000 to 23,000 SHUs. This stark difference in spiciness underscores the extreme heat of Pepper X, making it a noteworthy addition to the world of spicy foods.

How Hot Is the World’s Hottest Pepper?

Eating a whole Pepper X, as described by Currie, results in an immediate and intense burning sensation. This sensation initially affects the head, making you wonder what’s happening, and then it spreads throughout the body, reaching the arms and chest. Unlike the Carolina Reaper, Pepper X doesn’t have an immediate throat burn, but it eventually sets in as the pain intensifies.

Currie mentioned: “There’s an intense burn that happens immediately. Then your head kind of feels like, ‘Oh no! What’s going on?’ And then your body just starts reacting. You get it in your arms, you get it in your chest. It has no real throat burn like the Reaper, but that comes on later when you’re in pain.”

Why So Spicy?

The intense heat in peppers primarily resides in the white placenta that holds the seeds, rather than the seeds themselves. Guinness notes that the exterior texture of Pepper X, with its bumps, allows for a larger placenta to develop, contributing to its spiciness.

Ed Currie’s team successfully stabilized Pepper X approximately ten years ago. However, they held off on its release until now because no one had managed to surpass Currie’s previous record with the Carolina Reaper, making Pepper X the reigning champion of spiciness.

Would you be willing to risk your taste buds to taste the world’s hottest pepper? Let us know in the comments below!

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Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!