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You are watching: Is liquid nitrogen safe to eat
Liquid nitrogen has been used for end a te in manufacturing facilities to preserve foods by swiftly freezing them, claims Marianna Naum, PhD, team lead, strategy Communications, FDA, university Park, Md. An ext recently, it is being offered to prepare some modern frozen desserts or to swiftly chill beverages right before consumption.
However, if touch directly, liquid nitrogen can reason burn-like injuries to the skin due to the chemical’s extremely low temperatures. If that accidentally ingested, similar injuries can occur to internal organs and also along the cradle tract, Dr. Naum says. Inhaling the vapor exit by a food or drink prepared by adding liquid nitrogen automatically before usage may likewise cause breath difficulty, especially amongst individuals through asthma, and can it is in life-threatening.
FDA’s safety alert advises consumer to avoid eating, drinking, or dealing with foods prepared using liquid nitrogen at point of sale and also immediately before consumption because of risk of injury.
According come Ayrn D. O’Connor, MD, director, university of Arizona university of medication Phoenix clinical Toxicology Fellowship, Banner—University Medical facility Phoenix, Phoenix, Ariz., instances in medical literature report patients developing rapid start of abdominal muscle pain, distention, and respiratory distress after ~ inadvertently eating food contaminated through liquid nitrogen. This has resulted in perforation that the stomach and also the require for operation intervention.
Liquid nitrogen freezes foods in different ways than traditional freezing methods, i m sorry produces different textures and consistencies that influence the flavor. “Apparently consumers seek the smoking result that occurs as soon as they eat food items frozen by fluid nitrogen,” Dr. O’Connor says.
Products are frequently marketed under the names “Dragon’s Breath,” “Heaven’s Breath,” “nitro puff,” and other similar names. They encompass such items together ice cream, cereal, and cheese puffs and also alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
There space some safe methods that the food industry deserve to use liquid nitrogen. Dr. Naum says appropriate preparation includes enabling sufficient time for any residual liquid nitrogen to fully evaporate indigenous food before consumption. “This waiting duration also allows food to rise to a slightly higher temperature prior to consuming, and poses little threat that injury come consumers,” she says.
About Karen Appold
Karen Appold is one award-winning reporter based in Lehigh Valley, Pa. She has a BA in English (writing) from penn State University and also has an ext than 20 years of editorial experience. Karen has been a full-time freelance medical writer and also editor due to the fact that 2003. She works for various clinical organizations, businesses, and media. Karen has likewise worked in a range capacities, consisting of newspaper reporter, editor of a day-to-day newspaper, and also editor the a monthly magazine. Reach her at
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