INDIA: Red hot chillis to be used in hand grenades
Posted: June 26th, 2009 - 5:48pm
GUWAHATI, India -- India's security forces are planning to mix one of the world's hottest chilli powders in hand grenades to control riots and during insurgency operations in the remote northeast, a defense official said on Thursday.
India's defense scientists say they will replace explosives in small hand grenades with a certain variety of red chilli to immobilize a person without killing him.
"We are working on a project on how to use the hottest chilli in different applications in defense forces," said R.B. Srivastava, a senior scientist at the state-run Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).
Scientists said the chilli found in the country's northeast generates so much heat it was enough to startle a person for a while when used as a weapon.
The bhut jolokia chilli is said to generate 1,000,000 heat units on the Scoville scale -- a measure of hotness -- at least a thousand times more than a common kitchen chilli.
The Scoville scale was named after American scientist Wilbur Scoville, the first to measure the heat component in chillies.
The chilli will also be used as a food supplement for soldiers deployed in cold weather conditions to raise their body temperatures, Srivastava said.
Scientists are also hoping to use a coat of the chilli powder in fences around army barracks as its pungent smell keeps wild animals away.