A Manipur scientist introduced the hottest Indian Artificial Hybrid Chilli Pepper from a cross between Capsicum frutescens, a local variety of chilli called Mashingkha and Capsicum chinense cv, popularly called Umorok by the locals in a breeding trial in Imphal.
The new inter-specific hybrid chilli pepper – Kishor’s fire ball, a name given to the new hybrid chilli to signify its hotness, was developed during a breeding trial in 2007 as a hobby and since then genetic stabilization of the hybrid genotype was continued, says Rajkumar Kishor who heads Imphal based Kwaklei and Khonggunmelei Orchids Pvt Ltd, a hybrid orchids supplier and manufacturer.
Kishor’s fire ball, according to Kishor, is the hottest Indian Artificial Hybrid Chilli Pepper. Analysis of the samples were done at the analytical laboratory of spices board in Cochin sometime ago, he said and explained that the chilli is now stable after selection of the desired traits through ten generations and is ready for field trial.
Informing the details of Kishor’s fire ball, he said the new hybrid chilli has an average pungency of 287400 Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) with a mean capsaicin content of 1.80 per cent against the pungency of male parent Umorok’s 280,000 SHU with 1.7 per cent capsaicin content and female parent(Mashingkha)’s average pungency of 107,200 SHU with 0.67 per cent capsaicin content.
Besides having high pungency and capsaicin, this new hybrid chilli will be a farmer friendly plant as it has been genetically improved and it will require little effort in terms of hotness, productivity and resistance to diseases, he added.
The hybrid could be grown twice a year (in August and December).
Stating that though Manipur is home to a number of chilli landraces or cultivators including prominent pungent ones the Mashingkha, Umorok, Uchithi etc, he said, however, little effort has been given for experimenting on hybrids. But in reality these resources can be utilized for production of chilli hybrids having better pungency and other agronomic traits, Kishor further said.
Kishor, who is popularly known for his landmark orchid research works in the region and a resident of Sagolband Bijoy Govinda in Imphal, would like to apply for the inclusion of the new hybrid chilli in the Limca Book of Records later this year, considering its interesting commercial characters.