It really looks so cool when the chilled smoke billows from a dessert or drink. It is just something that can make a foodie going crazy. And this trend of chilled smoke has been picked in India as well to drive people crazy about food.
But there is a volatile chemical behind the drama of this cold smoke. This chemical is called liquid nitrogen. And, a chemical can never be the safest thing in the world. In fact, it not only poses a severe threat to the health of the bartender or a chef but also affects the consumer badly. Recently, at a bar in Delhi, a 30 years old man drank liquid nitrogen chilled drink and he ended up with a hole in his stomach. Though this is the first accident in India, in the foreign countries, it happens on a regular basis. In Lancaster, in the year 2012, a girl, who was celebrating her 18th birthday party with a liquid nitrogen infused cocktail, lost her entire stomach.
What is liquid nitrogen?
Liquid nitrogen is actually the liquid state of the nitrogen gas at an extremely low temperature. Since 1800, it has been used in the food industry in all over the world food preservation. It is so cold that any food item can freeze within a fraction of a second.
Nowadays, it is used to chill ice cream, desserts or drinks. Liquid nitrogen is also used in the food packaging industry since it delays/prevents food from turning rancid. It is massively used in the packaging of fish, meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, microwavable meals, bakery products, etc.
Since the year 2011, the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has permitted the use of liquid nitrogen. Nowadays, it is a hot trend in the city of Delhi. Chefs use it in everything to add some more drama.
How can it be dangerous for your health?
If you are associated with the food industry and if you have to work with liquid nitrogen, make sure it is out of reach of your body parts. If it touches your skin, you can experience a severe frostbite within a fraction of a second. Just a few drops of liquid nitrogen can freeze your cornea.
In case you drink this, you can feel severe burn throughout your esophagus to your stomach. It can also expand on your internal organs and even collapse the lungs.
Always make sure that the liquid nitrogen is fully evaporated from the drink or meal before you ingest it, ingesting it can damage your stomach.