There is a new winner of the hottest chile on the market title. It is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion. Even its name makes you shake! The experts at New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute have classified the Scorpion as the hottest pepper.
Heat from chile peppers are measured in Scoville heat units. A regular jalapeno pepper rates between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville scale, whilst a Habanero is between 100,000 to 350,000 SHU. This Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper rates more than 1.2 million on the Scoville heat scale – and some of these peppers can reach higher, over 2 million!
The Chile Pepper Institute was charged with scientifically establishing which pepper is the hottest by manufacturers of hot sauce and spicy foods. It is very difficult to definitively say which pepper is hottest as each individual pepper has a different heat level that its plant mate.
The researchers planted 125 plants of a variety of the hottest peppers – the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the Trinidad Scorpion, the 7-pot, the chocolate 7-pot and the Bhut Jolokia. Mature fruits from each plant were randomly selected , harvested, dried and were ground up into powder. Each pepper has a compound that produces heat called a capsaicinoid. These compounds were extracted and the levels tested.
The researchers did not actually taste the peppers – they are leaving that to the daredevils who are willing to set their mouths and taste buds aflame. But they did say that during the picking of the peppers the capsaicinoids burned right through the latex gloves they were using – something that had never happened to them before during their hot pepper research.
Are you a hot pepper eater? What is the hottest pepper you have ever tasted? Would you be willing to taste this Trinidad Moruga Pepper?