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Saturday, March 27, 2010

World's hottest chilli: the new weapon against terrorism

Hottest in the world ... the ghost chilli is being used in hand grenades.

The Indian military has a new weapon against terrorism: the world's hottest chilli.

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

The bhut jolokia was accepted by Guinness World Records in 2007 as the world's spiciest chilli. 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 chilli's spiciness. Classic Tabasco sauce ranges from 2500 to 5000 Scoville units, while jalapeno peppers measure anywhere from 2500 to 8000.

"The chilli grenade has been found fit for use after trials in Indian defence laboratories, a fact confirmed by scientists at the Defence Research and Development Organisation," Colonel R. Kalia, a defence spokesman in the northeastern state of Assam, said.

"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 defence 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 television show host of “Man Vs. Food”, Adam Richman, was almost put out of the four horseman challenge (which is a burger covered in the top four hottest peppers in the world) after the first bite.

A native of India, where the chili is grown, has been eating the chili his entire life and grows it.

He said that eating the chili is “so hot you can’t even imagine, when you eat it, it’s like dying”.

The pepper gets its name from native superstition that eating the chili could turn you into an apparition.

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