New world's hottest chili is more pungent than police pepper spray

Pepper X is officially the world's hottest chili pepper, according to Guinness World Records. Bred by Puckerbutt Pepper proprietor Ed Currie, it beats the prior record holder, the Carolina Reaper, which Currie also grew. (He should start a side business selling Currie's Curry.)

Anyway, Pepper X has a rating of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a scale measuring the concentration of capsaicinoids, the natural irritant/neurotoxin that provides peppers their pungency. As comparison, a jalapeño pepper ranges from 2,000 to 8,000 SHU while self-defense pepper spray is around 2.2 million SHU.

"I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours. Then the cramps came," Currie told the Associated Press. "Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain."

From Guinness World Records:

A commonly held belief is that the seeds of a pepper are what makes it hot. However, this is not true, as the capsaicin is contained in the placenta, the tissue which holds the seeds.

Pepper X's exterior has many curves and ridges, meaning there is more area inside for the placenta to grow.

Ed cultivated Pepper X on his farm for over 10 years, cross breeding it with some of his hottest peppers to increase its capsaicin content.

(via Popular Science)