The hottest chili pepper on earth is Indian.
Four Indian scientists have discovered that a type of chili pepper grown in the country’s northeast has the highest Scoville units of pure capsaicin — a measure of hotness.
Called the Tezpur chili pepper, after the area where it is grown, scientists say the pepper has beaten Mexico’s Red Savina Habanero, widely acclaimed as the hottest chili pepper in the world.
Tezpur lies on the banks of the river Brahmaputra about 112 miles from Guwahati, the main city of Assam, which is better known for its flavorsome tea than its chili peppers.
“The Tezpur chilli was rated having 855,000 Scoville units... the Mexican chilli contained 557,000 Scoville units of pure capsaicin,” said one of the scientists. Chili peppers in India are called ‘chillies.’
The scientists work in defense laboratories in Guwahati and Gwalior.
The Scoville scale is named after German scientist Wilbur Scoville, the first to measure the heat component in chili peppers.
India is the world’s top producer of chili peppers, exporting an estimated 35 tonnes a year.