Meet dragon's breath, possibly new world's hottest pepper.
Author: Daily Wales Post Date Posted:24 August 2017
The world’s hottest chili pepper - so fiery it could kill someone who eats it - has been created in North Wales.
But the record-breaking, weapons-grade creation, developed by hobby grower Mike Smith also has a more positive use. It was developed to be used in medical treatment as an anesthetic because the oils that come from it are so potent that they can numb the skin.
It measures more than 2.48m on the Scoville scale, and it could potentially cause a type of anaphylactic shock for someone who eats it, burning the airways and closing them up.
The US military uses pepper spray which registers at around 2m on the Scoville scale.
Mr. Smith, 53, owner of Tom Smith’s Plants, has been growing chilies and vegetables for the last seven years. He said: "It’s not been tried orally. I’ve tried it on the tip of my tongue and it just burned and burned. I spat it out in about 10 seconds.
“The heat intensity just grows.”
The chili has been named Dragon’s Breath, in honour of its Welsh beginnings. The 2.48m Scoville heat units (SHU) the chili registers dwarfs its nearest rival, the Carolina Reaper, which measures around 2.2m. Mr. Smith, who has developed the chili along with scientists from Nottingham University - says
he is expecting any day a confirmation letter from the Guinness Book of Records recognizing his chili as the world’s most potent.
The Dragon’s Breath is so powerful that one drop of its capsicum oil would be detectable in 2.48m drops of water.
Mr. Smith added that the chili - created in partnership with Nottingham Trent University - has a medicinal use.
He said: “This was developed because a lot of people are allergic to anaesthetic,
and this can be applied to the skin because it is so strong it numbs it.”
As well as being of use in treating people who are allergic to anaesthetics, it is thought the chili’s oils could also be useful in developing countries,
where access to anaesthetic is limited for financial reasons.
The Dragon’s Breath chili is so potent that it has to be kept in a specially sealed container. It will be on display at the Chelsea Flower Show between
May 23 and 27.