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Brits unleash world's hottest chilli pepper

Burn, baby, burn

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A British firm has claimed the world's hottest chilli pepper crown, a fearsome beast clocking 1,176,182 on the Scoville scale.

Fire Foods of Lincolnshire is responsible for cultivating the Infinity Chilli, which tests at Warwick University confirmed as the planet's most potent. The previous record holder is the bhut jolokia, which measures a mere 1,041,427.

The company has unleashed this weapon of culinary destruction on the form of its Infinity Chilli Sauce at £6.50 a bottle. It cautions that it's "in the process of getting another batch tested which we believe will be even higher" on the Scoville scale, so consider yourselves warned.

The Scoville scale was developed by Wilbur L Scoville as a measure of the capsaicin concentration of peppers and pepper sauces. An alcohol extraction of capsaicin oil is mixed with increasing quantities of sugar solution until the burning sensation from the chemical is no longer discernible on the tongues of a panel of five testers.

The final figure awarded represents the dilution required to kill the pepper's "heat", so the Infinity Chilli capsaicin must be "watered down" by a factor of 1,176,182 before it loses its effect.

By comparison, the Habanero and Jalapeño peppers register a puny 100,000 - 350,000 and 2,500 - 5,000, respectively. ®

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