The world’s hottest chili will be used by the Indian military to make hand grenades in the effort to fight terrorism, according to Indian defense officials. “The chili grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defense laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defense Research and Development Organization,” said Col. R. Kalia, a defense spokesman in the north-eastern state of Assam. “This is definitely going to be an effective non-toxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hideouts,” said R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO.
Confirmed by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world’s hottest chili, the bhut jolokia (aka ghost chili, fitting, perhaps) has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units–the measurement unit of a chili’s spiciness. Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units; jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.
For anyone who has ever inadvertently rubbed their eyes, or elsewhere, ahem, after handling a jalapeno–you know what an effective tactic this might produce. Can you imagine? It is surprising that it isn’t lethal. Seems like an exceedingly painful weapon, but any efforts to move away from producing toxic synthetic-based lachrymatory agents (like mace and tear gas) is somehow a step in the right direction. If only they could find a way to immobilize suspects with kinder options–vanilla bombs and chocolate rockets would work for me.