Measuring Pepper Spray on the Scoville scale of chili pepper hotness

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18 Responses to “Measuring Pepper Spray on the Scoville scale of chili pepper hotness”

  1. ChicagoD says:

    The dose may make the poison, but I don’t even want to inadvertently rub my eye with oil from a jalapeno on my hand. This really gives some perspective as to just how brutal pepper spray is. Wow.

  2. lost feliz says:

    I assumed Serranos, which I use for Indian cooking, would be way higher. If I scratch my face or something after cutting those, my face burns like the 7th circle of Hell. I think the spray must be considered a chemical weapon.

  3. So what you’re saying is: instant victory at the chili cookoff is guaranteed.

  4. Seth Eag says:

    I had a friend who was in the Army and told me that they used to spray it on their MREs to make them spicy and more tolerable. He also said that you can fairly quickly build up a resistance to pepper-based sprays and many soldiers do, but that MACE (tear gas) is a different story.

  5. Interesting tidbit: Pepper Spray passed FBI safety tests in 1991. The FBI Agent in charge was fired by the FBI and was sentenced to two months in prison for bribes from Luckey Police Products, a pepper spray manufacture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepper_spray

  6. Textuality says:

    Wow… I’ve made the mistake of touching my eye after handling a Bhut Jolokia.  I couldn’t imagine the pain from something stronger sprayed in my face.

  7. musesum says:

    I remember cleaning some Habenero chillis, and my hands burned for a day. That was 20 years ago and I still remember it. A whole day. And pepper spray is 10x that? Wow!

  8. philarete says:

    As Homer Simpson said in “The Springfield Connection”, “Mmm … incapacitating.”

  9. parfae says:

    Maybe the revolution should come with tacos.

    • franko says:

      instead of pizzas? i’m liking this idea. somebody PLEASE figure out a way to humorously mock the pepper sprayers with some sort of giant taco that the protesters can wear or hold out as protection.

  10. DaughterNumberThree says:

    When Bhut Jokias were sold at my local co-op a month or so ago, they were prebagged so no one would touch them. And that’s half to one-fifth as U.S. Grade Pepper Spray.

  11. cjeam says:

    I was hoping to be able to build up some sort of resistance.

    I guess not then. 

  12. CountZero says:

    “Current record holder

    According to Guinness World Records, as of March 1, 2011, the world’s hottest chili pepper is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper. [15] A laboratory test conducted in March, 2011 measured a specimen of Trinidad Scorpion Butch T at 1,463,700 Scoville heat units, making it hotter than the previous hottest chilli, the Naga Viper, at 1,382,118 SHU. The secret to the heat, according to the creators, is fertilizing the soil with the liquid runoff of a worm farm.[16]

    History

    In 2007, Guinness World Records certified the bhut jolokia, also known as the ghost pepper/chili pepper, as being the world’s hottest chili pepper at 401.5 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.[17] On December 3, 2010, the Bhut Jolokia was replaced as the hottest known chili pepper by the Naga Viper pepper, which has an average peak Scoville rating more than 300,000 points higher than an average Bhut Jolokia – but still not higher than the hottest ever recorded Dorset Naga.[18] In February 2011, Guinness World Records awarded the title of “World’s Hottest Chilli” to the Infinity chilli grown in Grantham, England.[19] This chilli rates at 1,067,286 units on the Scoville scale.[20] Later the same month, on February 25, 2011, the title returned to the Naga Viper pepper with a rating of 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).[21] The current “world’s hottest” is the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T, officially tested at 1,463,700 SHU.[22] These figures are highly controversial among the pepper growing community and tests with more rigorous scientific standards are yet to be conducted on the many various peppers vying for “world’s hottest” status.”
    Yikes!

  13. Steve Stein says:

    “But we’ve taken to calling it pepper spray, I think, because that makes it sound so much more benign than it really is, like something just a grade or so above what we might mix up in a home kitchen.”

    I don’t know.  Once upon a time I tried making some Szechuan Pepper oil.  I got the oil too hot, and ended up with something akin to a munition – hot burnt oil smoke filling my kitchen.  I finally got the smoke cleared to a level I could tolerate, and poured the resulting oil into a clean glass jar. The heat of the oil shattered the jar, and now I had a HazMat situation all over my kitchen.

    So don’t downplay what one might cook up in their kitchens!

  14. Jorpho says:

    Remember folks, it’s derived from NATURAL SOURCES, so it can’t be harmful! Amirite?

    Clearly the solution is to convince law enforcement agencies that kitchen-table Tabasco should be used, since homeopathic capsicin ought to be more effective.  (Hey, they bought dowsing rods for use in Iraq; anything’s possible.)

  15. Phanatic says:

    You know, most every cop who uses this stuff has to get sprayed in the face with it as part of their training, primarily to know what it feels like so that if they have to use it against someone they’ll be able to testify (if it comes to that) that they’re familiar with the effects and thought the use was warranted. 

    It’s not pleasant, but it’s not like you drop like a poleaxed steer, either.  The training usually requires them to take the spray in the face, with their eyes open, and then pursue or subdue and get the cuffs on someone playing the role of criminal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFS2c2Bw3Hg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Eeonp5uJI
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9IpBySqIBc

    These are admittedly controlled bursts to an individual who’s expecting it, but take a look at that Davis protest where they all catch an enormous burst to the face; they don’t turn to jelly, either.   And the police use stuff that’s at the upper end of that range, it’s typically 5.3 million units, not 2 million. 

    Pepper spray can deter someone who’s not that serious about doing what he’s doing from doing it anymore.  Against a determined and dedicated assailant, it doesn’t do a whole lot.  It *is* pretty benign. 

  16. bo1n6bo1n6 says:

    I think we should demand pepper spray be lowered to poblano…

  17. jhertzli says:

    Could they use horseradish or onion spray instead?

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