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New King of Hot Peppers Crowned

  • VOA News

Carolina Reaper peppers are seen being held by Ed Currie who grew the world-record setters.

Carolina Reaper peppers are seen being held by Ed Currie who grew the world-record setters.

If you like spicy food, there’s some good news.

There’s a new world-record holding hot pepper, the Carolina Reaper, which dethroned the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Hot peppers’ heat is measured using Scoville Heat Units. The winning pepper (code name HP22B for "Higher Power, Pot No. 22, Plant B") measured a whopping 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units, with an individual pepper in the batch measuring 2.2 million.

To put it in perspective, a jalapeno pepper is between 5,000 and 8,000 Scoville Units.

Another way to look at it that the Carolina Reaper is nearly as strong as pepper spray used by police.

Ed Currie, who grows the Carolina Reapers, told the Associated Press that he’d been interested in peppers all his life and has been determined to grow the hottest pepper for over a decade.

Ed Currie holds Carolina Reaper peppers.

Ed Currie holds Carolina Reaper peppers.

"I haven't tried Ed's peppers. I am afraid to," Cliff Calloway, Winthrop University professor whose students tested Currie's peppers told the Associated Press. "I bite into a jalapeno - that's too hot for me."

Currie hopes to turn his skill for growing peppers into lucrative business in the growing hot pepper market. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans are eating 8 percent more hot peppers than they were five years ago.

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