Chili Need an Extra Kick? Try the New Hottest Pepper on Earth

Stefano Carella /
Stefano Carella /

Ed Currie is a man who knows his way around some hot peppers. Setting the world record back in 2013 with his Carolina Reaper, he has now demolished that record with his new pepper. With such a legendary pepper already under his belt, he had to make this one stand-alone, so he dubbed this one Pepper X.

The previous record came in at 1.64 million Scoville heat units. With the logarithmic scale that the Scoville heat is measured in, the new Pepper X comes in at 2.693 million units and is technically three times hotter. Heat like this is something the human body simply lacks the tolerance for or the adaptation to enjoy. Just to compare things, pepper spray comes in at around 1.6 million units, and bear spray at 2.2 million.

When asked about eating them, Currie said, “I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours. Then the cramps came. Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain.” According to experts, this pain comes from capsaicin, and while not dangerous in and of itself, the body sees it as a threat. The flood of dopamine and endorphins accompanying the pain can cause hallucinations and sickness.

For Currie, this was a special challenge. For the last five years, he has been proving that this is a different plant and not just an exceptionally hot version of the Carolina Reaper. From genetics to the chemistry of what makes it up, he has had to prove the worthiness of this new plant. It’s a personal one to him.

With over 10,000 products using the Carolina Reaper name or genetics, he wants what is due to him on Pepper X. “Everybody else made their money off the Reaper. It’s time for us to reap the benefits of the hard work I do.”