Pepper X, the World’s Hottest Pepper, Makes Its Debut

( — The Carolina Reaper has been dethroned as the hottest pepper in the world. As of Oct. 9, Pepper X is the new world record holder for hot peppers. Ed Currie, founder of the PuckerButt Pepper Company, bred both peppers. According to Currie, he and his team of pepper experts had Pepper X ready to go about a decade ago but decided to release it now that it has become clear there is nobody else out there with something hotter than their last Guinness Book of World Records winner, The Carolina Reaper.

A pepper’s heat intensity is measured on the Scoville scale, the 1912 method devised by American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville. The scale calculates the heat of a pepper by measuring the concentration of chemical compounds called capsaicinoids. The Carolina Reaper averaged 1.64 million SHUs, or Scoville Heat Units, which is exponentially hotter than the much more commonly consumed jalapeño, which measures just 2,000 to 8,000 SHUs. Pepper X averages 2.693 million SHUs, but according to Currie, it feels “more like three times hotter than a Reaper.”. It is hotter than law enforcement-grade pepper spray, which averages between 500,000 and 2 million SHUs, and bear spray, which averages between 3.2 million and 3.6 million SHUs.

Currie says that he bred Pepper X from a Carolina Reaper and pepper that a friend sent him from Michigan that he describes as “brutally hot”. The pepper is a chartreuse color and is about the size of a habanero. It is believed that the pepper’s extensive curves and ridges create more surface area, allowing it to grow and retain more capsaicin.

It is important to note that Pepper X is not meant to be consumed alone, and even when added to other foods, it can be extremely painful. Only Currie himself and Danish musician and pepper aficionado Chili Klaus have ever consumed a whole one. Currie describes collapsing after he ate it and suffering from cramps for 4 hours afterward. PuckerButt Pepper Company offers many different hot sauces that incorporate Pepper X and a chocolate bar known as The Ed Currie Experience, available in both dark and milk chocolate. Currie can be seen discussing Pepper X on the YouTube show Hot Ones.

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