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Heating up fundraising with spicy sauce.

IT'S HOT. IT'S BASICALLY AN INFERNO IN a bottle. But then again, what would you expect from a hot sauce made from the spiciest peppers on the planet? How about a catchy product whose sales raise money for research at New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute?

Earlier this year the institute partnered with Columbus, Ohio-based CaJohn's Fiery Foods to create Holy Jolokia hot sauce. The main ingredient is Bhut Jolokia chile peppers, certified by the Chile Pepper Institute and confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest peppers on earth.

"I love it. You certainly get a nice smoky flavor from the peppers," says Mark Gladden, a self-described chile fanatic who also happens to be the major gifts officer at NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. He's part of a team working to promote Holy Jolokia and the work done by the Chile Pepper Institute.

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At approximately one million Scoville Heat Units, Bhut Jolokias are 100 times hotter than jalapeno peppers. The sauce they create has become CaJohn's (ahem) hottest seller.

"We didn't want to make it too hot, because we wanted people to enjoy it and be able to taste the uniqueness of the Bhut Jolokia," says Paul Bosland, the Chile Pepper Institute's director and widely recognized as the world's foremost authority on chile peppers. "I think this is a fun product, and it brings a lot of publicity to New Mexico State University. It helps further cement New Mexico as the chile capital of the world."

University officials hope that Holy Jolokia hot sauce sales, paired with other institutional fundraising efforts, will generate enough money to create an endowed chair in chile pepper research as well as upgrade and expand the facilities used by the Chile Pepper Institute.

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Title Annotation:BEHIND the NEWS; Chili Pepper Institute
Publication:University Business
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:298
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