Liquid Nitrogen In This Week’s Ingredient Watch
Liquid nitrogen is often used in electronics and part of aesthetic skin care, such as the removal of warts. Moreover, liquid nitrogen can also be found in certain foods. Unfortunately, the FDA has recently issued an alert about the dangers associated with consuming liquid nitrogen.
Where can it be found?
Liquid nitrogen is often used due to its aesthetic appeal. Bartenders add it to cocktails to create a foggy cloud above the drinks and the same is done with other foods such as colourful cereal or cheese puffs. In fact, when such foods are sold in malls and kiosks, they are actually marketed with names like Dragon’s Breath and nitro puff.
Why is it bad for us?
According to the alert issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), consuming foods with liquid nitrogen can cause serious health issues such as internal organ damage. Moreover, inhaling it can also cause difficulty in breathing,
“The FDA has become aware of severe — and in some cases, life-threatening — injuries, such as damage to skin and internal organs caused by liquid nitrogen still present in the food or drink” the FDA said in their alert, “There has also been a report of difficulty breathing after inhaling the vapor released by liquid nitrogen when added immediately before consumption. Injuries have occurred from handling or eating products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen immediately before consumption, even after the liquid nitrogen has fully evaporated due to the extremely low temperature of the food.”
Also, while the preparation of some frozen goods such as ice cream does include the use liquid nitrogen, the FDA assures that this process is completely safe due to the fact that this method results in the complete disappearance of the liquid nitrogen before anyone has the chance to consume it.
The FDA advises that those who believe that they may have suffered liquid-nitrogen related injuries, consult their doctors immediately before reporting the injury to the FDA.
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