Ice cream, cereal, cocktails and especially "dragon breath" snacks popular with teenagers can cause damage to the skin and internal organs, the FDA warned on Thursday.
Liquid nitrogen is used to quickly chill or freeze everything from computers to food, and to remove warts and skin tags.
More recently, snacks and novel beverages that have liquid nitrogen added just before consumption to create the "breath of the dragon" effect have gained popularity among teenagers.
Nitrogen is not toxic and is safe to use to preserve food, but because it is extremely cold, the substance is extremely cold (-320F or colder) and can freeze the skin and damage the throat and stomach, the Administration warns. of Food and Drugs.
Modern sandwiches made with liquid nitrogen and create the effect of "dragon breath" have become viral in social networks, but the FDA warns that they can cause burns by ice and tissue damage (file)
"Dragon breath" or "angel breath" sandwiches come mainly in the form of ice cream or puffs of frozen cereals with liquid nitrogen.
When chewed, liquid nitrogen flows from the pores in the snacks, creating the visual effect that smoke emanates from the mouth.
The shops and kiosks that sell snacks have sprung up in shopping malls and malls across the country and YouTube and Instagram are full of videos of adults, teens and children exhaling the "smoke."
But in recent months, some people have also posted warnings about snacks.
For nitrogen, naturally a gas in our atmosphere, to become liquid, it has to reach temperatures of hundreds of degrees below zero.
By way of comparison, your freezer at home is zero degrees Fahrenheit, and the lowest temperature recorded in Antarctica was -130 degrees Fahrenheit.
That's almost 200 degrees warmer than liquid nitrogen on average.
Contact with something that is cold can cause a rapid burn of ice, which freezes the water in your own skin cells and contracts the blood vessels that feed them.
These changes can cause the death of skin cells and cause painful, sometimes permanent, damage.
Suffolk County in New York has already banned frozen puffs
As you can imagine, extreme cold can also have similar effects on internal tissues, damaging the esophagus and the lungs of people who eat balls full of liquid nitrogen smoke.
A man posted a video in which he ate two of the so-called "nitro puffs" and then showed that the inside of his mouth had been burned.
A Florida mother warned other parents to keep their children away from snacks after their son had a severe asthma attack after eating them.
"The FDA has been aware of serious and, in some cases, life-threatening injuries, such as damage to the skin and internal organs caused by liquid nitrogen still present in food or beverages." There has also been a report of difficulty breathing. after inhaling the steam released by liquid nitrogen when it is added immediately before consumption, "the agency warned.
It is not clear exactly how many people have suffered nitrogen-related injuries, but sweets have even been banned in Suffolk County, New York.
"This safety alert advises consumers to avoid eating, drinking or handling food prepared with liquid nitrogen at the point of sale and immediately before consumption, due to the risk of injury," the FDA said.