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FDA issues warning about food, drinks made with liquid nitrogen

Posted at 6:10 PM, Aug 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 21:10:16-04

The FDA is warning people about eating and handling food and drinks made with liquid nitrogen. 

Liquid nitrogen infused treats are the new craze. Products known as "Dragon’s Breath," "Heaven’s Breath," and "Nitro Puff," a cereal dipped in liquid nitrogen, are some of the most popular items.

One man tried ice cream made using liquid nitrogen for the first time at Nite Creamery in downtown San Luis Obispo.
 
"It altered the flavoring and texture a little bit which is kind of different, so we want to try a second time maybe a couple of different flavors," said Aaron Guskins, resident of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Liquid nitrogen is the liquid form of nitrogen gas which makes up almost 80 percent of the air we breathe.

In the liquid state, it is -320 F.

The FDA issued a warning that serious injury such as internal damage and difficulty breathing can result from eating foods such as ice cream, drinks or cereal infused with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale. 
 
Dr. Direk Frantz, a chemist at Cal Poly, explained how it can still be safe to consume.

"Food grade liquid nitrogen leaves no residue, is completely safe to eat as long as all of that liquid nitrogen has evaporated. And as long as those droplets are all gone and the material in the food has had a chance to warm up a bit from that liquid nitrogen temperature, it should be completely safe," he said.
 
But some foods could hold the cold temperature longer, he added. 

Dr. Frantz warned that if you consume liquid nitrogen that hasn’t fully evaporated or food that is still as cold as liquid nitrogen, you could suffer from internal frostbite in extreme cases. 
 
In a statement, co-owner of Nite Creamery Nino Eng said, "At Nite Creamery, you don’t have to worry about consuming nitrogen since by the time our ice cream is finished being frozen, all nitrogen is fully evaporated."
 
People who think their health was affected by eating food with liquid nitrogen are encouraged to report injuries to the FDA.