September 15, 2018

Can Liquid Nitrogen Treated Foods Trigger Asthma?

Adding liquid nitrogen to your food before eating it has recently become a food trend. This creates the effect of smoke, which sounds quite fun. However, people are wondering whether it’s safe for those with asthma.

There has been a report of a child having an asthma attack after eating Dragon Breath – a popular treat containing liquid nitrogen to give a smoke effect.

Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in a liquid state. It is a colorless, odorless chemical that has a super cold temperature. It is often used in the medical treatment to freeze warts or skin cancers. This fluid is extremely cold, and if you don’t handle it properly, you can get a frostbite after a contact.

Sometimes, liquid nitrogen is added to certain foods and beverages before serving, which creates the effect of smoke or fog. Thus, a trendy frozen dessert Dragon Breath is made from fruit-flavored cereal dipped in liquid nitrogen. When put it mouth, it creates the effect as if you were breathing smoke.

This chemical helps to make smoother ice creams and create unique foods. For example, strawberry dust is made by crushing berries frozen in liquid nitrogen. It is also used by many bartenders to create smoking cocktails.

Are Foods Made with Liquid Nitrogen Safe?


Using liquid nitrogen when preparing food and drinks is safe, but it is important to use this chemical correctly. Otherwise, there is a risk of internal and external burns, including severe ones.

Remember that liquid nitrogen should never be ingested. In order to be safe, the chemical has to be completely evaporated.

People affected by asthma may wonder if it’s safe for them to consume foods or drinks made with liquid nitrogen.

According to experts, even short exposure to the cold gas vapor can trigger asthma attacks in people with asthma. Liquid nitrogen is considered non-toxic, but when used in poorly ventilated areas, it may also cause asphyxiation, or suffocation.

Are People with All Asthma Types at Risk?


There are different types of asthma. The symptoms may range from mild to severe, and they may also be intermittent.

However, even if you have a mild asthma, your reaction to the trigger may be unpredictable. Inhaling an extremely cold gas vapor can irritate the airways leading to an asthma attack.

Can Cold in General Trigger Asthma Symptoms?


Some people may develop an asthma attack after exposure to cold air coming from liquid nitrogen. This makes people wonder if other cold foods, such as ice cream, trigger asthma.

According to specialists, cold is a common trigger of asthma. Sometimes, people may experience mild asthma symptoms, when eating or drinking cold foods and beverages. In this case, the symptoms may include coughing or breath shortness.

Should You Avoid Liquid Nitrogen?


If you keep liquid nitrogen at a distance, it is usually not harmful. But its cold temperature may still be irritating for some people.

When it comes to food made with liquid nitrogen, it affects your oral, nasal and pulmonary mucus membranes, which may lead to internal burns. While this can happen to anyone, people with sinus and lung disorders, including asthma, are at a higher risk.

In general, healthcare specialists recommend that people with asthma avoid food exposed to liquid nitrogen.

In fact, even if you don’t have asthma, you may want to stay away from liquid nitrogen in foods and drinks. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consuming foods that are exposed to liquid nitrogen right before consumption may cause severe and even life-threatening damage to skin and internal organs, when handled incorrectly.

Share this: