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Scoville Scale: How hot is Paqui's One Chip challenge?

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It feels like every few weeks, some new internet challenge pops up and everyone is thrown into an uproar. Most of the time, the challenges are fleeting and pretty silly, but every once in a while, a memorable challenge pops up and goes viral. Of all the recent challenges, Paqui's One Chip Challenge is probably the best. Today, we'll find out just how popular Paqui's One Chip Challenge is, and take a look at the metrics used to judge it. let's start!

How popular is Paqui's One Chip Challenge?

How hot is the Carolina Reaper pepper is paquis-one-chip-challenge
Carolina Reapers are among the hottest peppers in the world.

© Adrian_am13/Shutterstock.com

There is no official Scoville score for Paqui's One Chip Challenge . However, we do know of two peppers that will be used in the 2022 chips: Carolina Reaper and Scorpion Pepper. The hottest of the two is the Carolina Reaper, which typically scores around 2.2 million on the Scoville scale, making it one of the hottest "things" in the world.

For many, the challenge resulted in stomach pains, vomiting, crying and a blue tongue!

When you eat something very spicy, your body responds in a number of ways. The main compound in peppers that causes the burning sensation is called capsaicin. When capsaicin comes into contact with your mouth and throat (or any other sensitive skin), it activates a receptor in the skin called transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1), which sends Send a signal that you feel pain. This also leads to the release of endorphins, which can lead to a feeling of euphoria, which is one of the reasons people often like to eat spicy food despite the pain.

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How do you deal with the challenge?

The Paqui One Chip Challenge is a test of your tolerance for spicy food. To participate, you'll need to purchase a bag of Paqui's "One Chip Challenge" chips, which are typically made with at least one Carolina Reaper pepper, considered one of the spiciest in the world. The rules of the challenge are simple: all you have to do is eat the whole potato chip, then wait as long as possible before drinking or eating anything else.

On the website, the scale looks like this:

  • 1 minute: weak
  • 10 Minutes: Powerful
  • 30 Minutes: Boost
  • 1 hour: Invincible

The reaction online has been, frankly, hilarious. There's one thing most people don't take to the challenge after a few minutes: confidence. Even people who have been eating spicy food their entire lives can't get through it unscathed. In fact, some people ended up calling an ambulance because they were so distressed, despite the medical authorities being helpless! Thankfully, while the spice can be harmful, it won't cause any real harm to healthy people who follow the rules properly.

What is Scoville?

Scoville Pepper
The Scoville scale is a way of measuring the heat level of various peppers.

©iStock.com/Veronika Oliinyk

Scoville units are a way of measuring the hotness, or spiciness, of chili peppers. The scale was developed in 1912 by Wilbur Scoville, a chemist working for the Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Company. Scoville's method involves diluting pepper extract in sugar water, then having a panel of tasters sample the solution. The more it needed to be diluted before heat was no longer detectable, the higher the pepper's score on the Scoville scale.

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The scale is so well known that people use it to measure how hot things are in regular language. As we mentioned in this article, the Paqui One Chip Challenge itself doesn't have a Scoville Scale score, although the peppers above do. Additionally, certain peppers may have properties that make them more or less acceptable regardless of their Scoville rating. Combining peppers for certain properties is a great way to combine peppers into unique and bitter sauces or foods. For example, scorpion peppers are not the hottest peppers in the world but are used in the topping of chips for their claimed "tingling" sensation, while Carolina Reapers are spicier but more palatable to many.

What is the hottest thing on the Scoville scale?

Scorpion Chili
While not quite as scorching as the Carolina Reaper, the Scorpion Pepper still ranks high on the Scoville scale.


The Scoville scale ranges from 0 to over 16 million units. Here are some examples of scales and their associated scores:

  • Bell Peppers: 0 Scoville units
  • Jalapeno: 2,500-8,000 Scoville units
  • Serrano peppers: 10,000-25,000 Scoville units
  • Peppers: 30,000-50,000 Scoville units
  • Habanero peppers: 100,000-350,000 Scoville units
  • Ghost Pepper (Bhut Jolokia): 855,000-1,041,427 Scoville Units
  • Trinidad Moruga Scorpion: 2,009,231 Scoville units
  • Carolina Reaper: 1,569,300-2,200,000 Scoville units

It is important to note that due to the subjectivity of the test and potential variability in pepper heat, Scoville scale values are approximate. In addition, new methods have been developed to measure the heat of peppers, such as the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method, which is more accurate and consistent, although not widely known to the general public.


  • Ghost Pepper vs Carolina Reaper: What's the Difference?
  • Scotch Bonnet vs Ghost Pepper: 5 Key Differences
  • Habanero vs Ghost Pepper: What's the Difference?
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More from AZ Animals

featured image

Carolina Reaper Peppers - Paki's One Chip Challenge
The Carolina Reaper is one of the hottest peppers in the world.

© Adrian_am13/Shutterstock.com

about the author

Colby Maxwell

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he's not distracted by the backyard bird feeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him what he's learned recently. There's a whole world to learn, and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much of it as he can!

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