Fancy presentation of food has become a norm and the usage of liquid nitrogen to enhance the look of certain food items is not uncommon. However, most of the time we overlook the dangers associated with the consumption of liquid nitrogen. Yes, it’s mesmerising and glorious for Instagram photos, but did you know that it can be harmful?
Liquid Nitrogen is an odourless, colourless, non-flammable cryogen, which is a really cold chemical with a boiling point of -196 degrees Celsius. When liquid nitrogen is consumed, its coldness could literally freeze your intestines and you might find yourself landed in the ER. When it comes in contact with bare skin, it might then leave you with frostbites or burns.
If it’s so dangerous, why is it still used in the preparation of food? As per Ministry of Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, liquid nitrogen is safe to consume if it has been fully evaporated, and it should be avoided at all costs if when it is not fully evaporated. He added that liquid nitrogen should only be used at an appropriate level to freeze products.
The next time you get a fancy looking cocktail at a bar involving liquid nitrogen, or a dragon’s breath cookie from the pasar malam, know that you have to wait it fully disappears before consumption. Better yet, avoid these foods and drinks as much as you can.