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Guinness World Record Declares Hottest Pepper in the World

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  • Post last modified:February 1, 2024

Recently, the Guinness World Record has declared the hottest pepper in the world. The news is all over the channels and the US proudly mentions its name. The pepper is none other than Pepper X, a cross-breeder with Caroline Reaper. The Reaper held the place in the world record for the hottest chilli until Pepper X was thrown into its place. Carolina Reaper first came into highlights in 2013 and again in 2017. But, this time Ed came up with another variety of pepper that made the record.

The stories of its victory among other chillies continued in 2017. In 2023, it was again officially mentioned in the Guinness World Record for its heat and spiciness. If you have not come across the reports, we have details on the Pepper X. Continue reading down below to introduce yourself to the hottest chilli in the world.

Which Is The Hottest Pepper In The World?

Over the years, a variety of chillies have made their way to the Guinness World Record of the hottest pepper in the world. In 2023, Pepper X was crowned as the hottest chilli in the entire world with the highest SHU score. Many interviews and YouTube videos have also been documented ever since the name of the chilli came into sensation.

Pepper X has been awarded as the hottest pepper in the world because of its high capsaicin content. When the cultivator Ed did his trial testing, his whole body burned due to the heat of the chilli. He said that the taste of the chilli was like something he never tasted before and that his breath was halted.

Where is the Hottest Pepper in the world originated?

Pepper X, the hottest pepper in the world, has a very high capsaicin content in the locules. This is the hottest pepper in existence today. It is harvested by Ed Currie, who heads the PuckerButt Pepper company in South Carolina. In an interview in 2017, Ed mentioned it is twice as hot as Carolina Reaper.

The corporation founder and pepper expert Ed, spent the past 10 years working on Pepper X. The chilli is so hot that it immediately emits brutal heat according to reporting by the Associated Press, measuring at 2.69 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

The chilli has been stated as 500 times hotter than Jalapeno, making it unimaginable to consume raw. The set record determines the burning sensation that people will feel when they consume it. Over 10 years of cultivation and improvement, Ed has maintained its place as the hottest pepper in the world.

The company even exports Pepper X to multiple countries including China, the US, Germany, India, and Thailand.

About Pepper X

On October 9, 2023, Pepper X made its name to the Guinness World Record. According to the interview highlights, Ed mentioned that he spent five years of research proving that Pepper X was a different plant with a different fruit than Carolina Reaper. He documented the average heat of the pepper over different plants. His hard work and years of search made him cultivate the hottest pepper in the world.

“We covered the genetics, we covered the chemistry, we covered the botany,” Currie said. He also mentioned that the heat of the pepper lazed his tongue and throat for hours. During the initial testing process, he could not tolerate the heat of the pepper and struggled for hours.

“I was feeling the heat for 3 and a half hours. Then the cramps came. Those cramps are horrible. I was laid out flat on a marble wall for approximately an hour in the rain, groaning in pain,” Currie shared his experience with The Associated Press.

The press also asked him about the flavour of the pepper. He said that the greenish-yellow Pepper X is not like other available chillies in the market. Moreover, it has an earthy flavour very dissimilar to the spicy-sweet taste of the red Carolina Reaper.

How was Pepper X Cultivated?

Pepper X was not the result of an organically grown chilli plant. Instead, it was crossbred with the famous Carolina Reaper and a plant from Michigan that is “brutally hot,” Currie said.

He further added, “There is an intense burn that happens immediately. Then your mind feels odd and struggles to adjust to what’s going on. Later on, the body becomes numb and starts reacting. You feel the heat in your arms, chest, and the rest of the body.

The pepper does not burn your throat but burns your body which comes later when you feel the pain, Currie says in the video.

How does the Scoville Scale Measure the Heat?

The Scoville scale estimates the chilli and hotness of peppers based on the numerical value of the pepper’s capsaicin content. The capsaicin content of chillies creates a burning sensation when it comes in contact with human cells. This is what is stated by the Guinness regarding the hottest pepper in the world.

The Associated Press also reported that the heat sensation generated by contact with capsaicin results in the release of endorphins and dopamine into the human body. These chemicals are essential for making the human body happy. However, both of them function differently. Curie said that the release of these chemicals from the peppers is high from the Pepper X.

Winthrop University in South Carolina conducted regular tests for four years to determine Pepper X’s Scoville score.

Here is the score of Pepper X compared to other peppers in Scoville Heat Units:

  • Jalapeños (3,000-8,000)
  • Habanero (100,000-350,000)
  • Carolina Reaper (1.64 million)
  • Pepper X (2.693 million)
  • Trinidad Scorpion Butch (1,463,700)
  • Naga Viper (1,382,118)
  • Trinidad Moruga scorpion (1,200,000)
  • Infinity (1,176,182)
  • Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Pepper: (1,001,304)

While many people believe that the seed of the pepper pod makes it hot, the capsaicin is held in the placenta or the tissue to which the seeds are attached.

Currie shared his invention with medical professionals to help people who suffer chronic pains and discomfort. He even gave hints for pepper hybrids to be even more hotel than Pepper X, however, he did not reveal anything and kept the details closed.

About Carolina Reaper

The Carolina Reaper pepper was rewarded as the hottest pepper in the world in 2013 for the first time. After that, it kept its place stable in the Guinness World Record in 2017. However, in 2023, Pepper X dethroned Carolina Reaper and regarded itself as the hottest pepper in the world.

The chillies were bred by an American Plant stockman Ed Currie, who also cultivated the Pepper X. The chillies are red and gnarled-looking with a bumpy texture. It has a small pointed tail and wide breath, giving it a merged appearance of Chinese capsicum and US chillies. ,

Ed Currie started working on the Carolina Reaper in 2001 and the results were presented in 2011. 10 years of hard work made him mention his name on the hottest pepper in the world record.This was not easy to achieve and he struggled with hundreds of failed hybrid combinations attempts. He achieved the Carolina Reaper by crossing La Soufriere pepper from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and Naga pepper from Pakistan

The Carolina Reaper was certified as the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records for the last time on August 11, 2017. The testing was done at Winthrop University in South Carolina during the certification process. The level on the SHU scale was 1,641,183.

Even before that, the record was held by Trinidad Scorpion “Butch T” which measured 1,463,700 SHU.

About Ghost Pepper

The ghost pepper, also commonly called bhut jolokia, is an interspecific hybrid chilli pepper cultivated in Northeast India. The pepper is a hybrid of Capsicum chinense and Capsicum frutescens. It was stated as the world’s hottest pepper in the Guinness World Record certification in 2007. The chillies are 170 times hotter than Tabasco sauce and are rated at more than one million Scoville Heat Units (SHUs). However, in 2011, the ghost chilli was replaced by the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper for the hottest chilli and by Carolina Reaper in 2013.

The Scoville rating for the ghost pepper is 855,000 SHUs, reported by India’s Defence Research Laboratory (DRL). Later on, a rating of 1,041,427 SHUs was revealed in 2004 using HPLC analysis.

Unlike other chillies, ghost peppers contain capsaicin not only in the placenta surrounding the seeds but also in vesicles all over.


Pepper X has now made its name in the Guinness World Record of the hottest pepper in the world. It has surpassed all other chillies and scaled around 2.693 million SHU. In this blog post, we have discussed the details of this latest achievement of Ed Currie and how his hard work made him famous.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where is Pepper X grown?

Pepper X is grown in Puckerbutt Pepper Company in South Carolina, USA by Ed Currie.

2. How hot is Carolina Reaper?

Carolina Reaper was the hottest pepper in the world until Pepper X dethroned it from its position. It has a SHU value of 1.64 million.

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