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Laboratory Report

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A Hot One
A new habañero pepper, named ‘TigerPaw-NR’ has been developed in South Carolina. It was so named because a photograph of the pepper made it look like a tiger’s paw. Not only is it the hottest habañero developed by the Agricultural Research Service, but it is highly resistant to many important species of root knot nematodes. How hot? The Scoville scale measures pepper heat in terms of the amount of capsaicin, the compound that produces the burning sensation. On this scale, jalapeños are in the 3,500 to 5,000 range, habañeros rate 100,000 and higher, and ‘TigerPaw-NR’ rates 348,634. Agricultural Research 55 (6): 22.
More Heat!
Pepper researchers in New Mexico have been experimenting with a chili pepper identified as Capsicum chinense ‘Bhut Solokia’. Plants of this species are known to be the hottest of the chili peppers. The seed of this cultivar was originally collected in India and was sent to the Chili Pepper Institute in 2001. The seed was of poor quality, and it was 2004 before enough seed was available for experimentation. When tested on the Scoville scale, the pepper rated 1,001,304. In studying the true identity using DNA markers, the species for this cultivar wa...


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