Chile pepper tops fiery competitors

02/14/2012 08:16:00 AM
By The Grower Staff

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion topped 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units, a measure of hotness in recent trials.The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion has been crowned the hottest pepper on earth by New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, N.M.

The pepper rated 1.06 million Scoville Heat Units, a measure of heat, according to a news release.

The next closest competitor was the Bhut Jolokia with 1.02 million SHU.

A team of researchers led by institute director Paul Bosland grew several different chile varieties in a university field following area agronomic practices.

They randomly selected mature fruit from several plants, dried the fruit and ground them into power.

They then extracted capcaicinoids—the compounds that produce the heat sensation.

Chile peppers from the same variety may vary in hotness due to growing conditions or regions. Fruit from the same plant may even differ.

But the reserachers found similar results, with some of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion topping 2 million SHU.

The chile industry is taking notice of Bosland's study.

CaJohns Fiery Foods has developed its Holy Jolokia hot sauce, salsa and barbecue sauce.

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Jim Duffy  |  February, 14, 2012 at 09:52 PM

Just want to say that I am thankful and honored to have donated my seeds from my plants for this Study done by NMSU and CPI. Finally we have some real data on these superhot varieties. This will only be a good thing for the chile and spice industry. Great job CPI! For info on seeds and plants availability go to

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