Guy Eats 10 of the World's Hottest Peppers in 33 Seconds

Guinness World Record holder Gregory Foster admits a passion for pain
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2022 12:20 PM CST

It took just 33.15 seconds for Gregory Foster to eat 10 of the hottest peppers in the world. The pain lasted much longer—though not nearly as long as his new Guinness World Record will stand. The hot sauce maker from San Diego actually nabbed the latest of several Guinness World Records in swallowing 10 Carolina Reaper peppers in record time on Sept. 17, Guinness announced Monday. Asked how it felt, the 48-year-old, who grows his own peppers through his company Inferno Farms, told USA Today: "Like you've opened your mouth and instead of taking a drink from a fire hose, you're taking a drink from a flamethrower." He also compares it to eating "liquid lava" or "a lit charcoal briquette."

The Carolina Reaper, grown by Ed Currie of PuckerButt Pepper Company, is recognized by Guinness as the world's hottest chili pepper. It averages 1.6 million Scoville Heat Units compared to 2,500 to 8,000 SHU for a jalapeño pepper. The rating comes in testing the concentration of chemical compounds called capsaicinoids that give that spicy burn. The most commonly occurring capsaicinoid is capsaicin, which measures 16 million SHU in pure form. But it doesn't scare Foster, who set a record in downing three Carolina Reapers in 8.72 seconds back in December. A month earlier, he nabbed another record in eating 17 ghost peppers (about 1 million SHU) in a minute. He holds yet another record for eating 120 grams worth of Carolina Reapers in one minute.

"It's the passion of pain, I guess," Foster tells Guinness, though he notes the pain of his latest record didn't kick in until he was basically finished. With Reapers, "the really bad heat doesn't kick in for about 30 seconds or so," he says. "It's when I stand up and start chugging milk and water and everything, to go through the post competition phase, that the heat really kicks in." Casein, a protein found in milk and other dairy products, "binds with spicy capsaicin oil and then washes it away," according to Guinness. Still, there were "bouts of belching, sweating and hurling." As Foster tells USA Today, "if I didn't vomit them up, the next 36 hours for me, I would be in a fetal position in absolute agony." (More Guinness World Records stories.)

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