Trinidad Moruga Scorpion: World's Hottest Pepper Tops 2M Scoville Heat Units

 @LauraMatt
on February 16 2012 12:31 PM

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion has been declared the world's hottest pepper following months of research by the experts at New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute. It is a golf ball-sized pepper, which mean heat topped more than 1.2 million units on the Scoville heat scale. Some fruits from some individual plants reached two million heat units, according to The Associated Press.

You take a bite. It doesn't seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty, Paul Bosland, a renowned pepper expert and director of the chile institute, told The AP about the pepper's heat.

The team planted some 125 plants of each variety that included the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the Trinidad Scorpion, the 7-pot, the Chocolate 7-pot and the Bhut Jolokia. The Bhut Jolokia was a previous world record holder. It was identified by the institute and certified by Guinness World Records in 2007.

Once ripe, the fruits were randomly selected from several plants. They were then dried and made into powder and the compound responsible for producing heat (capsaicinoids) extracted, according to The AP.

The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion averaged 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units and some some individual fruits measuring two million-plus.

Senior research specialist Danise Coon told The AP that during harvesting, she and the two students went through several pairs of latex gloves.

The capsaicin kept penetrating the latex and soaking into the skin on our hands, she said. That has never happened to me before.

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