"PURE CAPSAICIN IS 16 MILLION SCOVILLE HEAT
| The analysis
for the heat bearing components of red peppers has been with us since
the early 1900’s. The
analytical methodology for heat determination has been one of constant
evolution with a great deal of activity in the past ten years.
American Spice Trade Association (ASTA) Method 21.0, the old
Scoville Heat Test used by industry for many years, had a large
variability due to:
Moreover, ASTA Test Method 21.1 was developed by a single laboratory and required the use of some chemicals that are no longer deemed safe by the Federal Government. Therefore, in December 1998, ASTA determined that methods 21.0 and 21.1, as methods to determine capsicum, were made obsolete.
ASTA Method 21.3, Pungency Of Capsicums And Their Oleoresins (HPLC Method) was adopted December 1998 and remains as the only official method recognized for the analysis of capsicum heat. It is a collaborative method developed by the ASTA in conjunction with the American Organization of Analytical Chemists (AOAC). The ASTA Executive Committee of the Technical Group has determined that methods 21.0 and 21.1 are no longer valid test, and that Method 21.3 is to be the only official method used for the analysis of capsicum heat.
Due to the prospect of causing permanent harm to skin and/or nerve endings, it is generally accepted by law enforcement and corrections training professionals that the use of ASRs with a Scoville Value exceeding 200,000 would be unsuitable for normal duty use. Use the chart below to find out where the pungency of your current brand rates with the pungency of alternate brands.
Remember, the Scoville Value and percentage of major capsaicinoids are the true determinants of the pungency/effectiveness of an ASR, and not just the OC percentage or Scoville Heat Units.
|OC Pungency Chart (pure
capsaicin included for comparison purposes only).
Note: Comparative data
obtained from manufacturers marketing materials and believed to be true
at the time of printing.
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