I found this interesting article about the strength of OC Pepper Spray, this comes directly from the blog at SafetyTechnology.org. Lots of great information below and more on their site.
The first thing for you to understand about wholesale pepper spray products is what makes them effective. Most manufacturers use Scoville Heat Units (SHU) to indicate the strength of their spray. However, when you buy raw pepper you can buy it at any SHU you want.
For instance, one competitor says his spray use 5.3 million SHU of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) resin. Read further and he states he has a 2% formula. That means that his pepper product’s formula has 2% X 5.3 million or 106,000 SHU.
Another states, “We add a small amount of pure capsaicin (which is well over 5,000,000 SHU) to boost our CHR to over 230,000.” If you do the math (230,000/5,000,000) you get 4.6% of OC in their formula.
A popular manufacturer states they use 2,000,000 SHU raw pepper and 18% in their formula. They don’t state the SHUs of the formula, only the percentage. That means their formula should be around 360,000 SHU. However, when independently tested by CHROMTEC, LLC, the results were only 175,000 SHU.
Then there’s the manufacturer that says his is 18%, but doesn’t tell you 18% of what. I assume he feels the less said the better. His sprays tested out at 87,000 SHU.
Another gives no information. Not percentage, not SHUs, nothing. Yet, people still buy them. I guess because they are so cheap…the sprays and the people buying them.
The point is that it can be very confusing when trying to decide what pepper spray is best for you to sell. You want to be proud of what you offer your customers. You want to know that it will do what it says it will do.