NEW DELHI: Pepper X has become the hottest new pepper in the world, setting a new record on the Scoville scale.
Ed Currie, the hot pepper expert who grew the Carolina Reaper, which was then the hottest pepper, has broken his own record with the new “Pepper X”.
It is three times hotter than the previous pepper.
The new pepper rates an average of 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) and by comparison, pepper spray commonly holstered by police is around 1.6 million units.Bear spray advertises at 2.2 million units.
On his own invention, Currie said when he first tried Pepper X, it did more than “warm his heart”.
“I was feeling the heat for three-and-a-half hours. Then the cramps came,” said Currie, one of only five people so far to eat an entire Pepper X. “Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain.”

Ed Currie has been working on the Pepper X since Currie last set the hottest pepper record in 2013 with the Carolina Reaper. The goal was to offer an extremely hot pepper flavored with sweetness.

Pepper X is greenish-yellow, doesn’t have the same shelf appeal, and carries an earthy flavor once its heat is delivered. It’s a crossbreed of a Carolina Reaper and what Currie mysteriously classifies as a “pepper that a friend of mine sent me from Michigan that was brutally hot.”
The Pepper X uses the chemical capsaicin which causes the burn and is not dangerous unless pounds of it are consumed. Even so, the minds of humans and other mammals perceive capsaicin as a threat and sends a strong burning signal to the body. Because birds don’t have the same reaction, they are able to spread pepper seeds while sparing the plant.
Currie took 10 years to get its hottest pepper “Pepper X” from the first crossbreed experiment to the record, including five years of testing to prove it was a different plant with a different fruit and documenting its average heat over different plants and generations, reported AP.
“We covered the genetics, we covered the chemistry, we covered the botany,” he said.
Currie, who is trying to build an empire of hot pepper sauces through his PuckerButt company, said he also learned plenty of business lessons during the past decade. While the Carolina Reaper drew much attention, much of it was not proper — or profitable.
Currie allowed people to grow the peppers without protecting his ideas. His lawyers have counted more than 10,000 products that use the Carolina Reaper name, or its other intellectual property, without permission. But in the case of Pepper X, Currie is protecting.
He said no seeds will be released until he is sure his children, his workers — many of whom are on their second chances like him — and their families can fully earn the rewards of his work.
“Everybody else made their money off the Reaper. It’s time for us to reap the benefits of the hard work I do,” Currie said.
(With inputs from AP)

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