New Mexico State University's Sancto Scorpio hot sauce, made with the newly crowned hottest pepper on the planet, landed three awards at ZestFest, an annual blazing-hot food festival. Sancto Scorpio, produced by CaJohn's Fiery Foods, contains Trinidad Moruga Scorpion - the hottest pepper on Earth.

"Because of the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers, this product is even hotter than the Holy Jolokia hot sauce that CaJohn's unveiled for us a few years ago," said Mark Gladden, a development officer for NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. "These awards show the sauce is not only hot, but tastes good, too."

Sancto Scorpio placed first in the categories "Hot Sauce - Extra, Extra Hot" and "Latin Style Hot Sauce." The hot sauce also won first place for its label, which was designed by Hannah McGill, an NMSU student studying graphic design. The 2012 ZestFest took place last month in Irving, Texas.

Earlier this year, the Chile Pepper Institute announced the results of a scientific study that showed the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion had a mean heat measurement of more than 1.2 million Scoville Heat Units. That measurement ranked Moruga Scorpion hotter than all other chile peppers, including 7-pot, Chocolate 7-pot and Bhut Jolokia – a previous world record holder identified by the Chile Pepper Institute and certified by Guinness World Records in 2007.

Sancto Scorpio joins the Holy Jolokia line of hot sauce, salsa and barbecue sauce, also made by CaJohn's, in helping fund an endowment for chile research at NMSU. Each of these products is available at NMSU's Chile Pepper Institute, online at or at the Paradies Shops in airports and hotels across the Southwest.