Ghost pepper is sometimes used in pepper sprays.
Ghost pepper is a specific type of pepper, native to parts of India and Sri Lanka, considered by many to be the hottest pepper there is. The local term for this variety of pepper is bhut jolokia, and natives of these regions understand that the term “ghost pepper” has been widely applied by Western audiences. This pepper has been abundantly exported all over the world for use in recipes that require a specific intensity of flavor.
Cayenne pepper is a common ingredient in spicy and hot dishes.
To understand the heat intensity of this pepper variety, it is helpful to be familiar with a scientific resource called the Scoville classification. The Scoville scale, or rating, helps define the flavor of a particular pepper or other food. The Scoville scale is made up of Scoville heat units, abbreviated SHU. These units are based on the amount of an element called capsaicin, which is naturally found in many pepper varieties around the world. Using a Scoville scale, experts can compare the intensity of various peppers in a technical way.
Jolokia peppers, or ghost peppers, are the hottest of all peppers.
What the researchers found is that ghost peppers tested on the Scoville scale can reach a maximum rating of over 1 million units. This is best understood by comparing this rating to something like the more well-known jalapeno pepper rating, which has around 8,000 units. This makes ghost peppers hundreds of times stronger than jalapenos, which gives those unfamiliar with the plant greater guidance as to its intensity.
These tiny peppers are often used in exotic cuisines, where the end result relies heavily on a tangy, tangy flavor. As a prime example of the power of this pepper, ghost pepper products have been featured in some competitive feeding events that test the human body’s ability to handle capsaicin. Ghost pepper has also been used in the production of various weapons and self defense items, for example in pepper spray which is commonly used by individuals in self defense and also by police officers to control crowds.
As with other types of peppers, ghost peppers can lose some of their intensity during cooking. However, because peppers are so inherently hot, many find this strategy only marginally effective. In culinary uses, ghost peppers must be mixed with a large amount of other foods to be even remotely digestible for many eaters. It is also necessary for cooks to take extra precautions when handling them, such as wearing protective gloves and face masks.