Ovens & Ranges

GE Uses Jet Turbine Tech to Contain "Nuclear Hot Sauce"

Cutting-edge alloys will keep the 2 million Scovilles in check.

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The Caribbean is home to some of the spiciest food in the world, and the hottest pepper sauces in the region come from the island of Trinidad.

One reason why is the moruga scorpion chili, a golf ball–sized explosive that was identified in 2012 by New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute as the hottest chili in the world.

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The moruga scorpion chili is so uncontrollably hot that Thrillist has teamed with GE to develop packaging that can tame it—for bottling, anyway.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chili

Though it tempts scorch lovers with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units (SHUs), some moruga scorpion chili plants actually register a heat of more than 2 million SHUs.

How hot is that? The Scoville system measures how many parts per million of throat-scalding alkaloids are present in a chile pepper. A jalapeno pepper typically scores between 1,000 and 20,000 SHUs. Tabasco sauce runs 2,500 to 5,000, while the habañero—an absolute inferno by most gringo standards—measures between 100,000 and 350,000 SHUs.

At 2 million SHUs, the moruga scorpion burns so fierce that, while harvesting at the Institute, senior research specialist Danise Coon said the chili’s capsaicin kept penetrating latex gloves, soaking into her skin. “That has never happened to me before,” she noted.

So Thrillist is partnering with GE for a hotter-than-hot fusion they’re calling Nuclear Hot Sauce. The blend will be crafted by Steve Seabury, founder of the Hot Sauce Hall of Fame and proprietor of High River Sauces. GE’s role will be to develop packaging that can contain the peppery apocalypse, and the company promises to use its proprietary tech for the safety of mankind.

GE is deeply rooted in the study of advanced materials such as nickel-based superalloys (used in the world’s most powerful gas turbine, GE’s 9HA) and super-ceramics designed to operate at 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit—500 degrees higher than the most advanced metal alloys.

Nuclear Hot Sauce
Credit: GE

While such a high-tech approach isn't really necessary to bottle the Nuclear Hot Sauce, cutting edge materials developed by GE (namely silicon carbide and nickel-based superalloys) will be used for the packaging. It’s as enticing a marketing gimmick as we’ve heard for quite a few hours. And the packaging looks very cool—cool enough that we’d prefer not to open it. (Or maybe we’re just afraid to.)

Fire-eaters can look forward to this devil’s brew some time this spring, but note that it will be available only in a limited edition of 1,000, and will be sold exclusively on Thrillist.

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