The Pepper Enforcement® Line-Up
HOW TO CALCULATE
ACTUAL CAPSAICIN CONTENT
There is considerable confusion within the pepper spray marketplace relative to the percentage of pepper and Scoville Heat Units (SHUs) contained in the various brands. In the last few years the industry has seen many claims of the "hottest" pepper spray. Percentages range from 5% to 15% and higher. Scoville Heat Units are claimed to be anywhere from one million to 5.3 million. Many buyers and consumers assume the higher the percentage and/or the higher the SHUs the more effective or "hotter" the pepper spray will be. It is the classic more is better syndrome.
However, the percentage of pepper or the number of SHUs of the product in isolation, are not the critical factors. The most important factor is the CAPSAICIN CONTENT. Please note: Capsaicin contents greater than 1.00% are generally used for bear sprays. Pepper spray capsaicin content levels greater than 1.00% have not been proven over time to be safe to use against humans.
FORMULA FOR CALCULATING CAPSAICIN CONTENT
A divided by B times the percentage of pepper = Capsaicin Content Where:
A = Scoville Heat Units Claimed
B = 16 Million SHUs which is the rating for 100% Pure Capsaicin
% Pepper = Percentage of Pepper Claimed EXAMPLE
Let's assume you want to know which is the most effective pepper spray between Brand X claiming to be the most effective with a 2%, 5.3 million SHU claim and Pepper Enforcement at 8%, 2 million SHUs. Use the above formula to arrive at the critical Capsaicin Content:
Brand X: 5.3 million divided by 16 million = 33.1% times .02 = .66% Capsaicin Content
Pepper Enforcement: 2 million divided by 16 million = 12.5% times .08 = 1.0% Capsaicin Content
In this example Pepper Enforcement is much more effective than Brand X.