Carolina Reaper: 5 facts about the world's hottest chilli

  • 20 July 2016
Carolina Reaper Image copyright TESCO
Image caption Carolina Reaper: The world's hottest chilli

A UK supermarket is starting to sell the world's spiciest chilli pepper. So what makes it such hot property?

The Carolina Reaper comes from the Capsicum chinense species of chilli pepper and gets in the Guinness Book of Records at 1.5 million Scovilles - the measurement scale of how spicy a chilli gets.

The scale is named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville and it counts how much of a natural chemical called capsaicin is in each type of pepper.

Five hot chilli facts

  • The Carolina Reaper is so strong, you're supposed to wear gloves when you hold it.
  • The Carolina Reaper chilli is 400 times more spicy than the tasty Jalapeno peppers you can get on pizzas, which only rate a chilly 3,500 on the Scoville scale.
  • It's the same species as the famously fiery Scotch bonnet chilli which is often used in West Indian cooking.
  • It's not the seeds that make a chilli spicy, it's the white flesh nearest to the seeds that give it its kick
  • Only mammals feel the heat of a chilli, they don't affect birds at all!

Tesco are selling Carolina Reaper chillies from July 2016.

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