Recently, a piece of news about the birth of the world’s hottest chili pepper has attracted attention. When Mike Smith, a Welsh orchardist in England, was breeding novel peppers for the National Horticulture Show, he never imagined he would create the hottest peppers in the world. The pepper, called Dragon’s Breath, may cause anaphylactic shock and even death. A beautiful little thing, this pepper is a “sensory monster” and its consumption can be life-threatening.
According to the Scoville spiciness index, its spiciness is as high as 2.48 million units. Take Scotchbonnet chili peppers, for example, which have a spiciness level of 100,000 to 350,000 units, while military-grade pepper spray has a spiciness level of 2 million units. The previous hottest chili pepper in the world had a spiciness level of 2.2 million units.
Experts believe that trying to chew or swallow these small peppers can cause people to go into anaphylactic shock and even risk death. Simply put, it burns and seals off human airways. Smith, who developed Dragon’s Breath peppers with the help of researchers at Nottingham Trent University, said he had never tasted them because it was never a pleasant experience. He once put hot pepper on his tongue and found it unbearable. It’s because Dragon’s Breath is so spicy that Smith and scientists at Nottingham Trent University believe the chilli has important medical uses.
Oil extracted from chili peppers numbs the skin and is used in third world countries as an alternative to anesthetics for this purpose, and can also help those allergic to traditional anesthetics. Smith said: “This is a complete accident, but I love this pepper!” Smith has applied to the Guinness World Records official, hoping to win the title of the world’s hottest pepper for Dragon’s Breath. In addition, this pepper has won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Plant of the Year award.