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10 Hottest Peppers in the World

The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spiciness/heat of pepper) of chili peppers, or other spicy foods, as reported in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a function of capsaicin concentration. Capsaicin is one of many related pungent compounds found in chili peppers, collectively called capsaicinoids.  The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville, whose 1912 method is known as the Scoville organoleptic test.

10. Bhut Jolokia (1,300,000 SHU – Scolville Heat Units)

Bhut Jolokia
Bhut Jolokia

The Bhut jolokia also known as ghost pepperghost chiliU-morokred naganaga jolokia, and ghost jolokia, is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper cultivated in the Northeast Indian states. In 2007, Guinness World Records certified that the ghost pepper was the world’s hottest chili pepper, 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce .

9. 7 pot brain strain (1,350,000 SHU) 

7 pot brain strain

8. Naga Viper (1,349,000 SHU)

Naga Viper

7. Komodo Dragon (1,400,000 SHU)

Komodo Dragon

6. Trinidad Scorpion Butch T (1,463,000 SHU)

Trinidad Scorpion Butch T

5. 7 Pot Primo (1,473,000 SHU)

7 Pot Primo

4. 7 Pot Douglah (1,853000 SHU)

7 Pot Douglah

3.  Trinidad Moruga Scorpion  (2,000,000 SHU)

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

The Trinidad scorpion (Capsicum chinense) is native to Trinidad and Tobago. On February 13, 2012, New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute identified the Trinidad scorpion as the hottest chili in the world, with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units (SHUs) and individual plants with a heat of more than 2 million SHUs.[1] According to the Chile Pepper Institute, the previous record holder was the Bhut jolokia of India, as it never accepted the Infinity chili and Naga Viper pepper that were previous record holders per Guinness World Records. 

Aside from the heat, the Trinidad moruga scorpion has a tender fruit-like flavor, which makes it a sweet-hot combination.

2. Carolina Reaper (2,200,000 SHU)

Carolina Reaper

The Carolina Reaper, originally named the HP22B, is a cultivar of the Capsicum chinense plant. The pepper is red and gnarled, with a small pointed tail. In 2013, Guinness World Records declared it the hottest chili pepper in the world, surpassing the previous record holder, the Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T”.

The original crossbreed was between a Bhut jolokia (a former world record holder) and a red habanero, and is named ‘Reaper’ due to the shape of its tail.

1. Dragon’s Breath Chilli (2,480,000 SHU)

Dragon’s Breath Chilli

Dragon’s Breath is a chili pepper cultivar supposedly tested at 2.48 million Scoville units, a claim that would make it the second-hottest chili on record, after the Pepper X. Guinness World Records has different accredited results on the matter, showing the Carolina Reaper as the hottest in the world.

Read more about chilli peppers.

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