A method was developed to screen for pepper spray residue using instruments and methods other than those techniques commonly employed to analyze chemical residue (i.e., gas chromatography mass spectrometry-GCMS or liquid chromatography mass spectrometry-LCMS). The method employed gas chromatography (GC), thin layer chromatography (TLC), and diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (DRIFTS) to screen for dried pepper spray stains. Pepper sprays from nine different manufacturers were investigated. Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin were identified and unique IR reflectance spectra are presented. An additional five compounds were presumptively found. Results showed that a particular stain could be characterized as a pepper-based stain.
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