Why You Shouldn’t Try the ‘Dragon’s Breath’ With Liquid Nitrogen

Consuming drinks with liquid nitrogen can make a hole through not just your wallet, but also your stomach.

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After the reckless Kiki Challenge prompted police departments around the world to issue warnings against it, another life-threatening trend has caught people’s attention. Millennials around the world are now on the ‘Dragon’s Breath’ trend. It involves eating candy dipped in liquid nitrogen, straight out of the chemical.

The trend has gone viral as it causes those eating the candy to look like they're blowing out smoke like a dragon. Seems cool, right?

Except, it can seriously harm your health. Doctors have warned that consuming liquid nitrogen like this can melt your internal organs.

Dragon’s Breath WARNING I want to share Johnny’s story with everyone to serve as a cautionary tale in hopes that it...

Posted by Racheal Richard McKenny on Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Last year, a 30-year-old man at a Gurugram pub gulped down his nitrogen cocktail the moment it was served, it didn’t go down too well.

Almost immediately after, he was short of breath, writhing in pain, his abdomen swelling.

Hole in the Belly

And as he learned the hard way, consuming liquid nitrogen can make a hole not just in your wallet, but your stomach too.

It damages healthy tissue in your stomach and food pipe. And then, the nitrogen expands.

One spoon of the liquid can expand up to 600 spoons of gas. Once it’s inside your tummy and doesn’t have an escape route, it creates a hole to get out.

Yep, that’s how he got a hole in his belly.

What happens to your tummy when liquid nitrogen is trapped inside?
What happens to your tummy when liquid nitrogen is trapped inside?
(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

How Safe Is Your Nitrogen Cocktail?

Industry experts are putting the blame on the bar and the server. They say the man should have been warned about not consuming it right away or should have been served the drink after the smoke had died down.

Any food that uses liquid nitrogen should be had after all of it has completely evaporated. Then it is safe for consumption. That man must have gulped down the drink before the nitrogen could evaporate.

So, the handling of chemicals in mixology shouldn’t be taken so lightly!

Consuming even a small amount of liquid nitrogen can have catastrophic consequences.

Liquid nitrogen is kept in a container designed for the purpose, and it is important for those handling it to wear goggles, waterproof gloves and waterproof apron. Those who use it regularly wear specialised cryogenic gloves and apron, and use it with extreme caution.

Liquid nitrogen is permitted as a process additive in frozen food by the national regulatory body, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Though it’s usage is permitted only for freezing. It’s supposed to play a part in the making of the food item.

But that’s not the case with cocktails because they are made and served immediately. The use in cocktails would come under novel process which requires approval from the authority.

And a point to be noted is that, it’s the same chemical which is used in other industries; like as a coolant in computers and by tyre manufacturing companies.

Too Costly a Novelty?

In an interview to The Guardian a few years ago, Paul Ashton, a director of public health for UK’s National Health Service (NHS), termed liquid nitrogen drinks as “extremely dangerous”.

Here we’ve got alcohol which is itself dangerous, we’ve got liquid nitrogen which is a dangerous chemical and we’ve got fools running the alcohol industry, constantly seeking novelty to sell alcohol with no respect for young people’s health

So, now that you know the good and the bad about this smoky trend, will you go for that fancy liquid nitrogen cocktail? Or stick to your beer?

Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
Cameraperson: Shiv Kumar Maurya

Hole in the Belly

And as he learned the hard way, consuming liquid nitrogen can make a hole not just in your wallet, but your stomach too.

It damages healthy tissue in your stomach and food pipe. And then, the nitrogen expands.

One spoon of the liquid can expand up to 600 spoons of gas. Once it’s inside your tummy and doesn’t have an escape route, it creates a hole to get out.

Yep, that’s how he got a hole in his belly.

What happens to your tummy when liquid nitrogen is trapped inside?
What happens to your tummy when liquid nitrogen is trapped inside?
(Photo: Liju Joseph/The Quint)

How Safe Is Your Nitrogen Cocktail?

Industry experts are putting the blame on the bar and the server. They say the man should have been warned about not consuming it right away or should have been served the drink after the smoke had died down.

Any food that uses liquid nitrogen should be had after all of it has completely evaporated. Then it is safe for consumption. That man must have gulped down the drink before the nitrogen could evaporate.

So, the handling of chemicals in mixology shouldn’t be taken so lightly!

Consuming even a small amount of liquid nitrogen can have catastrophic consequences.

Liquid nitrogen is kept in a container designed for the purpose, and it is important for those handling it to wear goggles, waterproof gloves and waterproof apron. Those who use it regularly wear specialised cryogenic gloves and apron, and use it with extreme caution.

Liquid nitrogen is permitted as a process additive in frozen food by the national regulatory body, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Though it’s usage is permitted only for freezing. It’s supposed to play a part in the making of the food item.

But that’s not the case with cocktails because they are made and served immediately. The use in cocktails would come under novel process which requires approval from the authority.

And a point to be noted is that, it’s the same chemical which is used in other industries; like as a coolant in computers and by tyre manufacturing companies.

Too Costly a Novelty?

In an interview to The Guardian a few years ago, Paul Ashton, a director of public health for UK’s National Health Service (NHS), termed liquid nitrogen drinks as “extremely dangerous”.

Here we’ve got alcohol which is itself dangerous, we’ve got liquid nitrogen which is a dangerous chemical and we’ve got fools running the alcohol industry, constantly seeking novelty to sell alcohol with no respect for young people’s health

So, now that you know the good and the bad about this smoky trend, will you go for that fancy liquid nitrogen cocktail? Or stick to your beer?

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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