NBC Weapons: Military Grade Chili

Archives

: NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS

March 28, 2010: India is using a native chili plant (the bhut jolokia) for a new crowd control grenade design. Bhut jolokia is considered the "hottest" chili available (one million on the Scoville scale.) The active ingredient (chemical element) in chili is capsaicin, and pure capsaicin is 15 million on the Scoville scale. Military and police grade pepper spray is usually about five million on the Scoville scale. The Jalapeño Pepper, which is commonly used in Western foodstuffs, is only 8,000 on the Scoville scale.

The bhut jolokia chili plant grows in Bangladesh, and India's northeast. Pure capsaicin is extracted from plants (several species, besides chilis) that contain it, and then used for sprays and grenades. The capsaicin burns the eyes and skin, and makes breathing difficult.

The news media in India played up the use of bhut jolokia for a new riot control grenade. But, in reality, bhut jolokia is but one of several sources of pure capsaicin used in these weapons. Normally considered a non-lethal weapon, capsaicin-based gases (in spray or grenade form), can be fatal if the victim is not robust, and a lot of capsaicin is ingested.

 


Article Archive

NBC Weapons: Current 2020 2019 2018 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close