Red hot chilli pepper Scorpion is so potent it burns through testers’ gloves
Officially the hottest chilli in the world, its name alone is scary enough – and that’s before you see what the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chilli can do to a pair of gloves.
It stunned testers by burning through their protective latex gloves.
‘That has never happened to me before,’ admitted researcher Danise Coon, who measured capsaicinoids –chemicals which give chillies their heat – for New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute.
The golf ball-sized pepper Scorpion was measured at a sweat-inducing, tear-generating, mouth-on-fire 1.2million Scoville units – a scale developed to measure chilli heat by pharmacist Wilbur Scoville in 1912.
‘You take a bite. It doesn’t seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty,’ said the institute’s director, Paul Bosland, who was brave enough to take a bite.
The Scorpion’s new notoriety is making waves in the industry and among those who love their food very, very hot.
‘As with all the previous record holders, there will be a run on seeds and plants,’ said Jim Duffy, a grower in San Diego, who supplied the university with seeds for four of the super-hot varieties. He admitted he wouldn’t dare pop an entire Trinidad Moruga Scorpion in his mouth but claimed plenty of people had filmed themselves doing so – and posted the videos on the internet.
‘People actually get a crack-like rush. I know the people who will eat the hottest stuff to get this rush but they’ve got to go through the pain,’ he added.
The title of world’s hottest chilli is a fiercely disputed one and the institute was asked by the US government, hot sauce makers, seed growers and others in the spicy foods industry to pin down the record.
‘The question was, could the Chilli Pepper Institute establish the benchmark for chilli heat?’ said Mr Bosland.
‘Chilli heat is a complex thing, and the industry doesn’t like to base it on just a single fruit that’s a record holder. It’s too variable.’
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