heat Hottest Pepper in the World Hype

Back to the topic.  In the article I liked that said he was growing 100 acres, Mr. Currie said his testing process included not only the HPLC for SHU testing but also a huge magnet.  Any clue what the huge magnet is about?
If the 40-100 is pods per plant then the 17 million claim could refer to pods harvested, misheard as "pounds" by an interviewer. Not saying I beile much of anything that comes out of the Currie camp, but mathematically that all works considering the acreage, yeild.
Hehe,  :P  no ..... not iron detection with an 'uber magnet'. The magnet would be for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (Spectroscopy) Aussie beat me to it while typing this up.

There is a whole gamut of measuring methods for quantitative analysis, all with their pro's and negatives which may lead to a multiple testing approach via several testing methods combined to get a more precise overall picture of the true level of active compounds in the tested samples. Ed was speaking in the article about the the initial HPLC extractions then being submitted to the 'magnet thingie' (NMR) for further precision testing/results. HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) is the preferred  'set standard (?)' for analysis currently, but can't say if its combination with NMR is the actual true standard of measurement for measuring/finalizing an official heat rating for world record status (Guinness standards that is). The procedure for officially measuring Scoville units is not public information - that I am aware of -(set by the American Spice Trade Association (ASTA).  They state that HPLC is the standard (as read below) but personally I'm guessing NMR testing is/should be part of it. Testing via HPLC does not measure everything- which is what I think you would want, especially for a world record!

Quick run down-

Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin being the two most common/dominant alkaloidal compounds in peppers, this is primarily what the HPLC measures with its set standards to compare to. This does not account for the many other known compounds that may/do contribute to heat (as well as flavor, etc..) such as :

nordihydrocapsaicin (7 percent), homocapsaicin (1 percent), and homo-dihydrocapsaicin (1 percent).......

This is where the NMR testing would come into play with the detection and analyzing of the lesser compounds that Ed may be factoring in with the HPLC results for the two dominant compounds (capsaicin & dihydrocapsaicin) for a more total picture of the pungency of the said tested peppers. Who knows?!?!?...my head hurts now..leave this to the techies. I just like growing, looking at, and tasting the pretty peppers. Cheers!

Here's the above mentioned addendum:

The analysis for the heat bearing components of red peppers has been with us since the early 1900’s.  The analytical methodology for heat determination has been one of constant evolution with a great deal of activity in the past ten years.  American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) Method 21.0, the old Scoville Heat Test used by industry for many years, had a large variability due to:

· Lack of reference standard
· Lack of statistical validity
· Poor test reproducibility
· Ethanol bite in sample
· Increase taste threshold
· Rapid taste fatigue
· Build up of heat

Moreover, ASTA Test Method 21.1 was developed by a single laboratory and required the use of some chemicals that are no longer deemed safe by the Federal Government. Therefore, in December 1998, ASTA determined that methods 21.0 and 21.1, as methods to determine capsicum, were made obsolete.

ASTA Method 21.3, Pungency Of Capsicums And Their Oleoresins (HPLC Method) was adopted December 1998 and remains as the only official method recognized for the analysis of capsicum heat.  It is a collaborative method developed by the ASTA in conjunction with the American Organization of Analytical Chemists (AOAC).  The ASTA Executive Committee of the Technical Group has determined that methods 21.0 and 21.1 are no longer valid test, and that Method 21.3 is to be the only official method used for the analysis of capsicum heat.                                                                                            

Merle I. Eiss
Technical Director, ASTA
Alchymistic: Guinness has standards?  Certainly not journalistic standards.  They say the Carolina Reaper is a Naga Viper cross, thus contradicting Ed Currie saying it was a Naga from Pakistan. 


BTW: Prefer my new term for SHU testing: Uber Magnet Test

EB Harvey, yep the press will hack the hell out an interview.  Thing is, for some reason their seems to be some weird cloud of misinformation surrounding anything to do with the Carolina Reaper.  I mentioned above that Guinness thinks the Carolina Reaper started as a naga viper cross, here is a licensed dealer who says the same.


Here is a quote from Ed Currie making it clear that despite Guinness claim and the claim of a licensed dealer, the Naga involved was not the Naga Viper. After all, the Naga Viper is so very not from Pakistan.

“He said he tested hundreds of hybrid combinations before finally crossing a “really nastily hot” La Soufriere pepper from the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and a Naga pepper from Pakistan…” - http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-reaper-pepper-20141127-story.html#page=1
Wait a minute.  La Soufriere is on Saint Lucia island, not St. Vincent.  I guess like Guinness World Records, the L.A. Times has no journalistic integrity, no fact checking either.

On the acreage working out with the math if you assume pods not pounds, maybe for the first article I gave but then look to the second.  Assume pods, doesnt work.  Assume pounds, doesnt work.  Which brings me to my point, of which you say you agree.

For some reason, information about the Carolina Reaper is unreliable even when it comes from reliable sources.  No clue why.  But know that if you read it took $100,000.00 to grow and have the thing tested, you gotta take that as with all the other information out there which is so very clearly bunk.

This is why I am much more inclined to trust information from the not for profit, state university sponsored, Chile Pepper Institute than any other source for information on chile.  Not Guinness World Records, not the LA times, and not some random web site.
To be perfectly honest, I still believe he either (a) Doesn't know exactly what was mixed and happened upon a open Pollination cross, that was Reaper Gnarly or (b) Doesn't want people to know what he mixed.. If he said ... I mixed a Red Congo Habanero with a Naga Morich.. And POW... the 20 plants I grew from it featured the Reaper.. Death .. etc etc Pheno's... Tomorrow there would be 1,000 growers running out back and manually crossing the same peppers hoping to get a Death strain like pepper..
The $100,000 he so called spent.. Is probably the cost of a lot of his staff costs / Consumables / growing facilities he used to raise so called plants he then grew out to the now Carolina Reaper .. VS the actual cost that particular Pheno of plant cost him to raise... which was probably only thousands of dollars..
That would be like Dodge saying they spent 3 billion dollars in development on the Neon .. when in truth it was for there whole fleet.  ( These numbers were off the top of my head, just example reference )
Kraken, with a new pepper I could see what you are saying about protecting the identity of the parents.  Nobody in their right mind would go that route to create a Carolina Reaper today.  They would buy the seeds.  Now they might do it for fun or to see if the experiment could be repeated, but to create the pepper... nope, not a chance.

Additionally, it is not that there is silence on what was crossed.  It is that there are completely and totally conflicting information on what was crossed.  Hell, there is conflicting information on the process.  Somewhere there is an interview which says special techniques for closed pollinating plants was used.  Some places it says it was an accident while trying to make a sweet pepper.  Other places it says he was trying to make the hottest pepper in the world for decades.
It is as if every source of information has decided to just make up their own story and run with it.  Hell, watch Wikipedia.  People keep changing it.  Currently it is at Bhut Jolokia and Red Habanero.
But that's the reason you know he's hiding the information. If he wanted people to know, he'd have a nice little "History of the Carolina Reaper" on his website .. The fact he doesn't shows he either likes the intrigue behind it and doesn't want to set the record straight because it brings up the pepper in conversation or he actualy doesn't want people to know what went into it..

Im not saying people would want to 'replicate' a carolina reaper instead of buy the seeds.. But if you could grow out lets say . 20 -30 plants of the exact variety type he crossed into F2 I'd imagibe there would be a lot of death pepper look alikes staring to shine through that might be worth stabilising yourself ... Just an idea .. But you only continue the genetic line of that wich is worth continuing so I imagine that reaper etc came out fairly early on in the F? Line probably F2-F3 .. It may of even shown at F1 but that's unlikely .. But the F1 must of shown promise
Kraken, my point exactly.  A new pepper there is a reason to protect the original formula.  An established pepper with seeds available everywhere, not really a reason anymore.  But what I am observing is not just the lineage of the Carolina Reaper.  It seems like if the subject is the Carolina Reaper, the information contained in the article will likely be bunk.  It is as if interviewers just make up the interview.  Never been much for tabloids, but I imagine it is like the tabloids and movie stars.

Oh hell, there you go. Which peppers were sleeping with which to make the thing.  Yes, it is tabloid journalism.

I just love all the skepticism and cynicism about a guy who is doing so much for cancer research with his peppers.  What the hell has he done to anyone?
I have no issue with the man and admire his dedication to his passion. I just wish he would say " secret recipe" or "unknown cross" or " its a blah... With a blah... And a little blah for good measure".

And the fact he dedicates his efforts to cancer research (good job to him for doing that) is irrelevant completely to the topic...

That's like saying if I donate $100 a month to HIV research is it ok to lie to my wife about gambling .. I don't see how it's relevant ..

Good bloke yes.. Story straight about his reaper?? I say no.. That's all I'm saying .

Is that nonsense being spewed as you say or the fact... Because if it's nonsense then you must know the truth and be able to tell us what that is?
JayT, I dont see anyone saying Ed Currie is evil, bad, mean, despicable, or anything of the sort.  I am simply observing that when the man is interviewed by the media or websites, nobody can get the story right.  Concerning the lineage of the Carolina Reaper, I am observing a tabloid effect.  Whose your daddy.  Maybe it is a celebrity pepper, after all that is what they do with celebrities. 

It really seems like when it comes to the Carolina Reaper, the interviewers / web sites just pull shit out their ass.  Pods or pounds, acreage larger than the entire state's devotion to chili, a dozen different parents.  Hell, even the cancer research thing has been written up in such seemingly conflicting articles.

Then think on a couple years ago: Is it a Primo isn't it a Primo.  Is it stable, isnt it stable. 
Not trashing on Ed Currie at all.  Not trashing the Carolina Reaper at all.  Kind of trashing on everyone else.  Like the volume of people who call the thing the California Reaper the way some people call the 7 Pots the 7 Pods.  Now where the hell did that come from?
Seriously, if there were a Jerry Springer show for peppers the Carolina Reaper would so be on it.