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World's Hottest Pepper Grown by Man in South Carolina, Says Guinness World Records

A man from South Carolina has grown the world's hottest pepper according to judges with The Guinness Book of World Records.

Ed Currie learned last month that his Carolina Reaper peppers were determined by judges with The Guinness Book of World Records to be the hottest on the planet.

The heat of Currie's peppers was certified by students at Winthrop University who test food as part of their undergraduate classes. But the actual hotness of a pepper is almost impossible to determine given the variables that go in to making such a determination.

The heat of a pepper is determined using a host of factors including the plants genetics as well as where it is grown, revealed Paul Bosland, director of the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, to AP.

Chemicals compounds called capsaicinoids are what give a pepper its heat and the higher concentration the hotter the pepper, according to Cliff Calloway, the Winthrop University professor whose students tested Currie's peppers.

The heat of a pepper is measured in Scoville Heat Units. Zero is bland, and a regular jalapeno pepper registers around 5,000 on the Scoville scale.

Currie's world record Carolina Reapers register 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units, with an individual pepper being measured at 2.2 million.

"I haven't tried Ed's peppers. I am afraid to," Calloway told AP. "I bite into a jalapeno -- that's too hot for me."

Currie seems to be in the right market for his PuckerButt Pepper Company given the share of Americans eating hot peppers has increased 8 percent over the past five years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics.

Ted Barrus, a blogger writes about growing and eating hot peppers said the record will earn Currie bragging points among hot pepper lovers. Barrus also posts videos of himself eating hot peppers on YouTube under the name Ted The Fire Breathing Idiot.

"That's the biggest bragging rights there are. It is very, very competitive," Barrus told AP.

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