The Carolina Reaper was named as the hottest pepper on Earth by Guinness World Records in the year 2013. Grown by a producer in South Carolina, Carolina Reaper rates at an average of 1,641,183 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Whereas, jalapeno peppers score between 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. Scoville test is used to examine the hotness of the alkaloid enzyme that gives chillies their pungency.
The Carolina Reaper is said to be a cross between Sweet Habanero and Naga Viper chillies. And, the crossbreed may have an Indian connection, too. The Naga Viper was created by an English chilli farmer. It is claimed to be an unstable three-way hybrid produced from the Naga Morich (a chili pepper cultivated in North East India), the Bhut jolokia (an interspecific hybrid chili pepper cultivated in the Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur) and the Trinidad scorpion.
The Carolina Reaper was certified as the world's hottest chili pepper by the Guinness World Records in the year 2013. Here are 4 of some of the hottest chillies around the world that the spice lovers must know.
1. Trinidad Moruga Scorpion
Native to the lands of Moruga in Trinidad and Tobago, this hot pepper has a Scoville Heat Units of 2,009,231. This Caribbean pepper is not meant for the faint-hearted.
2. 7 Pot Douglah
Think chillies and you instantly conjure a red pepper bursting with pungent hot flavours. But, that is not the case with 7 Pot Douglah. It is hot and brown in colour, and averages 1,853,936 SHU on the Scoville scale.
3. Naga Viper
Originally cultivated by an Englishman, this super-hot pepper has a Scoville Heat Unit of 1,349,000. It is a hybrid of many hot peppers and cross pollination.
4. Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper)
The Bhut jolokia is also known as ghost pepper, ghost chili, U-morok, red naga, Naga jolokia and ghost jolokia. On the Scoville scale, the ghost pepper measures a whopping 1,041,427 SHU.
There are many hot peppers around the world like 7 Pot Primo, Trinidad Scorpion "Butch T" and 7 Pot Barrackpore that have a Scoville Heat Unit ranging in millions. Chillies and peppers derive a significant part of their hot pungency due to years of cross pollination and hybrid. It is not advisable for people to consume these chillies without expert supervision.