Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

Caliente! Hottest Pepper Tips Heat Scale

On sampling the fruits of his labor, the horticulturalist behind the chili says, “It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt.”

By Amy BarthAugust 7, 2011 5:00 AM
pepper.jpg
Alex de Wit/Courtesy the Chili Factory | NULL

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

This spring the Chilli Factory in Australia announced a hot new product: sauce made from the spiciest chili in the world. The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T registers 1,463,700 Scoville heat units, well beyond the Infinity Chilli, the reputed world's-spiciest pepper announced just last year, and nearly 300 times as hot as the hottest jalapeño. The pepper is so brutal that owners Marcel and Alex de Wit wear protective suits to guard against fumes while cooking their brew, called Scorpion Strike. Butch T is genetically primed to produce extraordinary levels of the heat-inducing chemical capsaicin, but only under perfect conditions. Horticultural expert Mark Peacock’s technique calls for a fertilizer blend of worm excrement to boost protective bacteria around the plant’s roots and crushed insects to stimulate natural defense mechanisms.

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In