Australia Produces the World's Hottest Chili Pepper

Apr 13, 2011, 10:23 by Victor Ryan

The world has a new hottest chili pepper--the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T., which was produced in Australia.

"They're just severe, absolutely severe," boasted Marce de Wit, co-owner of the Australian farm that grew the pepper. "No wonder they start making crowd-control grenades now with chillies. It's just wicked."

The Butch T. earned the crown by barely outperforming the world's previous hottest pepper, the Naga Viper, on the Scoville scale. According to Yahoo, the scale measures a pepper's heat by tracking a chemical compound in chilis.

The Butch T. meausured 1.46 million heat units on the scale, which bested the British Naga Viper�s 1.38 million heat units. The report notes a typical jalapeno pepper measures around 5,000 heat units.

To give an idea of how hot the pepper is, de Wit told Australian Geographic that protective gloves are worn when handling it and that chemical masks and body suits are used when making salsa with the pepper to protect from fumes given off in the cooking heat.

He said the key to producing the world's hottest pepper was the fertilizer. The farm used a liquid run-off from a worm farm to bolster the soil aptly named "worm juice."