Weapons grade chili pepper?

My ability to withstand heat in peppers begins and ends with the pickled jalapenos on a tray full of nachos. On the Scoville unit scale of measuring the ability to withstand spicy hot, I'm a 98-pound weakling. This story refers to a clever plan to weaponize the world's hottest pepper in the fight against terrorists.



AUHATI, India (AP) - The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chili.

After conducting tests, the military has decided to use the thumb-sized "bhut jolokia," or "ghost chili," to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspects, defense officials said Tuesday.

The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chili. It is grown and eaten in India's northeast for its taste, as a cure for stomach troubles and a way to fight the crippling summer heat.

It has more than 1,000,000 Scoville units, the scientific measurement of a chili's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000.

"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," Col. R. Kalia, a defense spokesman in the northeastern state of Assam, told The Associated Press.

"This is definitely going to be an effective nontoxic weapon because its pungent smell can choke terrorists and force them out of their hide-outs," R. B. Srivastava, the director of the Life Sciences Department at the New Delhi headquarters of the DRDO said.

Srivastava, who led a defense research laboratory in Assam, said trials are also on to produce bhut jolokia-based aerosol sprays to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs.




The "chili grenade" sounds like a menu item, and someday soon it probably will be found prominently on the menu at Chili's:. "Like it hot? Try the chili grenade!"

As for me, I will continue to  live on the edge with nachos and pickled jalapenos..