Man's Chili Is Fiercer Than Army's Pepper Spray

Welsh farmer unveils 'Dragon's Breath'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2017 3:57 AM CDT
Eating World's Hottest Chili Could Be Fatal
This Moruga Scorpion pepper, a relative lightweight, has a mean Scoville Heat Unit value of 1.2 million.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Jim Duffy, New Mexico State University)

There's a new contender for hottest chili pepper in the world—but even its grower doesn't recommend eating it. The "Dragon's Breath" chili, grown by Welsh farmer Mike Smith, scores a frightening 2.48 million on the Scoville heat scale, well ahead of the 2.2 million record set by the Carolina Reaper, CBS reports. Smith, who grows chilis as a hobby, says nobody has ever swallowed his creation. "I've tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned. I spat it out in about 10 seconds," he tells the Daily Post. "The heat intensity just grows."

Smith, who grew the pepper with plant food developed by researchers at Nottingham Trent University, says he is awaiting confirmation from the Guinness Book of World Records. The Dragon's Breath chili is fiercer than the pepper spray used by the US Army, which scores 2 million on the Scoville scale, and anybody who tried to eat it would be at risk of dying from anaphylactic shock, the Telegraph reports. Smith says oil from the pepper numbs the skin, which could make it an affordable alternative to anesthetic in some countries, reports the BBC. (Researchers say a chemical found in chili peppers can soothe upset stomachs.)

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