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Bih jolokia
Bih jolokia, botanically known as Capsicum chinense Jacq. is extensively cultivated in Northbih jolokia in fruiting stage Eastern Region of India especially in the states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. It is also known by other names like Bhut jolokia, Borbih jolokia, Naga jolokia, Nagahari, Naga Morich, Raja mirchi etc. It has a long standing association with ethno-agricultural activities of people of this region. Vedic and several other ancient literatures also describe its use in traditional medicine for curing many ailments. The local inhabitants commonly use this chilli for making pickles and adding hotness to non-vegetarian food stuffs.
The Uniqueness ............
Fruits of bih jolokiaRecently, this chilli has been in limelight as the “hottest chilli on earth” by the name Nagahari, Naga Moresh and Naga jolokia which are nothing but mere synonyms of Bih jolokia. It has a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) of 8,55,000 [Reported by DRL, Tezpur, Assam (India) in the journal Current Science, 79: 287-8]. We also recorded a slightly higher SHU level of 10,41,427 in Bih jolokia through HPLC analysis of the sample collected during summer of 2004. Other renown hot chillies like Red Savina Habanero (5,77,000 SHUs), Thai Chillies (1,00,000 SHUs), Jalapeno or Italian Peperoncino (below 5000 SHUs) stand much below theFruits of bih jolokia hotness level of Bih jolokia. Existence of a very high level of pungency in Bih jolokia of North East India may be ascribed undoubtedly to the genetic factor. Additionally, the unique soil and climatic conditions of this region purhaps provide the best possible environment for expression of the full potential. We have got doubts that creating artificially similar environment elsewhere in the world may not be successful in exploiting the very inherent uniqueness of our Bih jolokia (or Bhut jolokia, Naga jolokia, Naga morich, Raja mirchi........).
Commercial Significance
Due to its extra-ordinary pungency level, it is especially suitable for preparation of ‘oleoresin capsicum’ as well as extraction of capsaicin. Very high capsaicin output per unit weight of dry powder makes it possible to lower down the cost of extraction of capsaicin from Bih jolokia. Additionally, dark red skin also makes it a viable source for ‘oleoresin paprika’.
Our Efforts
The occurrence of high cross pollination leads to formation of variants within Bih jolokia. In order to maintain the varietal purity, we are taking extra care in its seed production through continuously selecting better offsprings in each generation.
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