Is liquid nitrogen actually safe?

An+example+of+a+dessert+made+with+liquid+nitrogen.+%28Picture+obtained+from+Google+Images%29
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Is liquid nitrogen actually safe?

An example of a dessert made with liquid nitrogen. (Picture obtained from Google Images)

An example of a dessert made with liquid nitrogen. (Picture obtained from Google Images)

An example of a dessert made with liquid nitrogen. (Picture obtained from Google Images)

An example of a dessert made with liquid nitrogen. (Picture obtained from Google Images)

Uroob Saeed, Web Editor

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Nowadays, the preparing of food items like ice cream, cocktails, and even cheese puffs with the use of liquid nitrogen is gaining in popularity at a rapid pace. Numerous restaurants (especially high-end ones) use liquid nitrogen to put a more exotic, unique, and fun twist on food. Examples of places include Snobachi Handcrafted Ice Cream nearby and The Fat Duck in England. However, despite the growing popularity for the use of this ingredient, there is growing concern for the extent of the level of safety this substance has. How dangerous is the consumption of liquid nitrogen?

Last month, the Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) declared that “you risk serious injury if you consume or handle food and drink products where liquid nitrogen is added just before consumption. Ingestion of liquid nitrogen can be dangerous to one’s health.” It is only safe if the liquid nitrogen is fully evaporated from the food item it is added to. If the liquid nitrogen is not prepared or used correctly, serious damage can be done. In its liquid state, damage to the skin and internal organs may occur. Its liquid form can also cause major burns along the hands, fingers, mouth, esophagus, and throat, eventually leading to the rupturing of organs. Even though the substance itself is non-toxic, inhaling it can cause difficulty breathing, especially in individuals who have asthma or lung disease to start with. Liquid nitrogen is able to constrict airways and cause the inflammation of the lungs, which makes it difficult to breathe. Its extremely low temperature is the main reason for these harmful effects.

So, is it worth it? Well, since liquid nitrogen is not toxic and the main risks involve carelessness and accidents, there is no real danger coming from the substance itself. Of course, it is very important to remember the risks involved when using it because if people are not extremely cautious throughout the entire process, serious damage could result in individuals because of some other person’s mistakes. It may be a cool treat, but the side effects are not as pleasant.

 

 

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Is liquid nitrogen actually safe?