The Hottest Peppers in the World

By Maureen Shisia on April 25 2018 in Environment

Ghost peppers are among the world's hottest peppers.
Ghost peppers are among the world's hottest peppers.

The Scoville Scale is used to measure the spiciness of peppers. The name was derived from the founder, Wilbur Scoville, a renowned American Pharmacist. The pungency of peppers varies greatly depending on the species of the crop, but some of the other determining factors include climate (humidity and temperature), soil composition, the amount, and type of fertilizer used among a few other factors. Below is a list of the world's hottest peppers.

1. Hottest Pepper List

50,000 - 100,000 Scoville Units

  • Malagueta pepper: The Malagueta pepper is of the species Capsicum frutescens. Mainly found in Mozambique, Brazil, and Portugal, it has a rate of 60,000 to 100,000 Scoville units.
  • Chiletepin pepper: The Chiletepin pepper (Capsicum annuumspecies) originates from North and South America. The pepper measures between 50,000 and 100,000 Scoville units.
  • Piri piri: piri piri is also called pili pili or African bird's eye chili and is a cultivar of Capsicum chinense and widely available in Africa. Some varieties of Pili Pili measure upto 175,000 Scoville units.

100,000 - 350,000 Scoville Units

  • Habanero chilis: Habanero chilis are very hot with a Scoville scale of between 100,000–350,000. They are green when unripe, and turn red with maturity. The crop originated from Amazon but spread to Mexico where it became very popular.
  • Bird eye's chili: The bird's eye chili has several names including bird's chili, chile de arbol, or Thai chili. It is a cultivar of the Capsicum annuum species and is commonly found in Ethiopia and parts of South East Asia. It measures 100,000–225,000 SHU on the Scovillescale.
  • Scotch bonnet pepper: The scotch bonnet pepper is a Jamaican pepper that goes by several other names. Its pungency is rated at 100,000–400,000 SHU.

350,000 - 580,000 Scoville Units

  • Red Savina pepper: The Red Savina pepper is a breed of habanero chilli. It held the hottest chilli title from 1994 until 2006 when it was displaced. Frank Garcia of GNS Spices has been credited with developing this chilli. The pepper scores a high of 577,000 on the Scoville scale.

855,000 - 2,480,000 Scoville Units

  • Ghost peppers: ghost Peppers are also among the worlds hottest peppers. They are mostly grown in northeastern India and parts of neighboring Bangladesh. They measure up to 800000 – 1041427 Scovilles.
  • Infinity chili: the infinity chili, also known as the 7 pot infinity, was the hottest paper for two weeks in February 2011 at SHU 1,067,286. This chilli is a hybrid of Capsicum chinense. Nick Woods, a chilli cultivar from England, is credited for this plant.
  • Dragon's breath: The hottest pepper in the world is the dragon's breath pepper. Eating the dragon's breath could kill a person, as it has been established that its consumption could lead to anaphylactic shock. This pepper was created by accident by the Welsh horticulturalist Mike Smith.

Hottest Peppers on the Scoville Scale

RankScoville Heat UnitsPeppers
1855,000 - 2,480,000 Ghost peppers, dragon's breath, infinity chilli
2350,000 - 580,000Red savina habanero
3100,000 - 350,000Habanero chili, Bird's eye chili, Scotch bonnet pepper
450,000 - 100,000Malagueta pepper, Chiletepin pepper, Piri piri
530,000 - 50,000Guntur chilli, cayenne pepper, tabasco pepper
610,000 - 30,000Byadgi chilli, serrano pepper, peter pepper
73,500 - 10,000Guajillo pepper, fresno Chili pepper, jalapeno
81,000 - 3,500Anaheim pepper, pasilla pepper, peppadew
9100 - 1,000 Banana pepper, cubanelle, paprika
100 to 100 Bell pepper, pimento

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