The Scoville heat scale is a measurement of the heat of chili peppers and other spicy foods. Today we look at the heat of chili peppers ranked by this scale.
The Scoville scale measures the concentration of capsaicin (the chemical responsible for adding spicy heat to foods) and records the heat in Scoville Heat Units (SHU). The scale was created by Wilbur Scoville, an American pharmacist in 1912. He created a method called the Scoville Organoleptic Test, which extracts capsaicin oil from a dried pepper and dilutes it with sugar water until a panel of professional taste-testers could no longer detect the heat. The amount of dilution needed would determine the assigned Scoville units for each pepper.
With that being said, the certified hottest pepper in the world is the Carolina Reaper, which is a whopping 2,200,000 Scoville units. While currently, this is the hottest recognized pepper in the world, it has some serious competition. Pepper X, grown by Smokin’ Ed Currie (also who grew the Carolina Reaper), has taken 10 years to develop and is supposed to be far hotter than the Carolina Reaper. It is currently awaiting verification from the Guinness World Records committee, but it is stated to top the hotness scale at 3,180,000, almost one million units hotter than the current title-holder!
If you’re interested in this subject, this infographic is an excellent way to start, as it lists dozens upon dozens of peppers ranked by their Scoville rating.