The US FDA recently issued a statement saying that eating and drinking products containing liquid nitrogen will face serious harm. The names of these products include “Dragon’s Breath”, “Heaven’s Breath” and “nitro puff”-available at food courts, kiosks, state or local exhibitions, and other places where food and beverages are sold. Specific manifestations of this product include colored grain or cheese puffs injected with liquid nitrogen, which emits aerosol or aerosol-like vapors, and alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages made with liquid nitrogen, which make them misty.
The FDA recently stated at a press conference that liquid nitrogen is non-toxic, but its extremely low temperature can cause severe damage to the skin and internal organs if it is not handled properly or consumed insufficiently. According to the agency, inhaling vapours released from liquid nitrogen in food or beverages can also cause breathing problems, especially for asthma patients.
“The main problem is that liquid nitrogen must completely evaporate from the food or drink before the food is ingested,” explained Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.
“Liquid nitrogen can cause burns in the mouth, esophagus, and upper respiratory tract, causing organs to perforate or rupture-which can be fatal,” Glatter said, “improper handling can also cause burns to fingers or hands.” He added that asthma or Inhalation of vapors in people with lung disease may cause the airways to contract, causing asthma attacks or worsening lung disease. “Besides that, it can also cause inflammation and inhalation of the lungs, which reduces breathing capacity and triggers infections such as pneumonia,” said Gatter.
In fact, the US FDA says it has received reports of serious and life-threatening injuries caused by liquid nitrogen in food and beverages, as well as reports of respiratory problems. “As national fairs come, parents and adolescents need to understand the potential risks of foods, such as nitro popcorn and nitrogen-infused cereals, which are exciting and stimulating, but may eventually go to the emergency room,” Glater noted. People injured after handling or eating food or beverages containing liquid nitrogen should consult a healthcare provider and consider reporting their injuries to the FDA.