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NEW Hottest Pepper in the World in 2023

The new Hottest Pepper in the World in 2023 is Pepper X: 

Hottest Pepper in the World 2023: Pepper X

Looking for the world's hottest pepper?

Well, on August 23, 2023, a new pepper has been crowned as the hottest pepper in the world by Guinness World Records! Pepper X, also bred by Ed Currie along with the former champion the Carolina Reaper with 2.2 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), took over as the hottest chili pepper in late 2023, recognized by Guinness World Records, beating the Carolina Reaper by 71,000 Scoville Heat Units! In 2017, Currie said that this crazy hot pepper was "two times as hot as the Carolina Reaper – and at 2.69 million SHU, he wasn't too far off as that's just an average.Currie said that it took him 6 HOURS to recover from eating one of his new Pepper X pods, and he can take some heat, so they must be HOT!!

Pepper X is Currie's new wrinkly yellow-greenish smaller pepper that now wears the hottest pepper crown from Guinness. Pepper X has no devilish tail from the photos we've seen, though, which is one of the reasons that we think the Carolina Reaper is so wickedly charming - that tail!!

2023 Guinness World Records Hottest Pepper X Winner Certificate

Carolina Reaper SeedsThe former champ, the Carolina Reaper

Pepper X Seeds

If you want to grow the Pepper X, the new world champion for being the hottest pepper, you can't. The seeds are not available.

The South Carolina-based pepper breeder Ed Currie is not offering any seeds of Pepper X to grow in your gardens – he is keeping it patented and in-house. He is offering Pepper X products like hot sauces – but no seeds for pepper growers to grow. So, if you want to grow super hot peppers, your next best bet is to start seeds for the previous de-throned world-champion, the Carolina Reaper, or the super hot Bhut Jolokia Red Ghost Pepper, and the wicked hot Trinidad Scorpion will guarantee you  super hot pods that will create the endorphine-causing pain you're craving even if you can't yet grow Pepper X. Yet. 

To be honest, no one has ever told us that the ReaperGhost Pepper or Trinidad Scorpion were not hot enough.  😂 In fact, when tasting hot peppers, it's best to build up a tolerance over time rather than just rushing into the hottest peppers or hot sauce. You just end up using a small portion of the pepper and adding more over time to salsas or hot sauces as you get used to the heat and crave more.

Pepper growers have been challenging the Carolina Reaper for years, and now the capsaicin race continues with pepper breeders around the world trying to create the hottest pepper on the planet that will beat the latest champ, Pepper X. Time will tell who gets the crown in the years to come! 

Becoming the world's hottest pepper is not an easy throne to take. Dethroning the Carolina Reaper took 10 years to earn Pepper X the new Guinness World Record Crown – with Ed Curry working for over five years testing to prove it was a different plant with unique fruit, and documenting the pepper's average heat over different plants and generations. Winning the record takes time, persistence and stability – so who will be able to beat Pepper X? Only time will tell. 

Testing Hottest Pepper

How was Pepper X's heat tested?

We were curious if Guinness used the new capsaicin-testing devices (like The ChilliPot) to do the test or if they used the standard Scoville tasting panel to determine the number of Scovilles. The standard Scoville panel test determines the amount of Scovilles based on the measure of the degree of dilution at which the capsaicin of the pepper becomes undetectable by a non capsaicin habituated person. Pepper X's score of 2,693,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) was not "taste tested" but actually calculated by using a chemistry method by Winthrop University in South Carolina, who's chemistry students conducted tests using pods from Ed's Pepper X plants over a series of years.

To find this out, we wrote the Winthrop University in South Carolina to ask how the testing was done, they said they had determined the Scovilles of Pepper X by:

“Using liquid chromatography and a standardized method called AOAC 995.03.  AOAC is short for "association of official analytical chemists." The method has been around for over 30 years. AOAC is a non-profit that compiles many, many methods of chemical analysis. Primarily started out with agricultural samples.”

The university's chemistry tests were conducted over several  years by Professor Cliff Calloway and his undergraduate chemistry students to determine Ed Currie's Pepper X's heat. Now that chemistry-based testing is more widely available, it seems that the hottest pepper winner will continue to be challenged over time by even hotter peppers. Who know's who will win the next bout of hot peppers?

The Pepper X breeder, Ed Currie, is infamous in the pepper world, as he is also the breeder who originally developed the Carolina Reaper, the previous record holder, which averages 1.64 million Scoville Heat Units. We'll see if Ed Curry or any other pepper breeders breed any new variety of super hot peppers that will dethrone the new Pepper X champion.

Hottest Peppers in the World: Unripe Carolina Reaper - look at that tail!

Foermer Hottest Peppers in the World:
Above, an unripe Carolina Reaper - look at that tail!

Does it matter that you can't get seeds for Pepper X?

No, believe us, growing any of the super hot peppers including the former champ the Carolina Reaper will please your burn-craving tastebuds. Since Ed isn't selling seeds for Pepper X, we'll be growing the rest of the super hot pepper seeds that are available. So grow them all and make some killer hot sauces and salsas. Just add more peppers if you want more heat, and you'll have your tastebuds singing with happiness and will cry tears of joy.

Happy growing!