FSSAI Warns Against the Usage of liquid Nitrogen in Food

The FSSAI has issued a strong warning to food-serving establishments, such as restaurants, bars, and caterers, regarding the unauthorized usage of liquid nitrogen in food and drinks.

This warning comes after various reports of health risks associated with consuming food and beverages containing liquid nitrogen.

The advisory warns about the dangers of using liquid nitrogen to enhance the presentation of food and drinks, like ice creams, cocktails, and desserts. While this trendy technique may create visually stunning effects, it has resulted in severe injuries and health problems for consumers.

Eateries are reportedly using liquid nitrogen extensively to create a smoky effect in food items, which has occasionally resulted in injuries to consumers. This substance is commonly employed to rapidly chill ice creams, cocktails, mocktails, and bakery products.

Liquid nitrogen is a versatile substance that is commonly utilized as a freezing agent, propellant, packaging gas, or foaming agent in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines.

The Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, specify limited applications for its use in food processing.

The FSSAI advisory states that liquid nitrogen (INS 941) is allowed for use in making dairy-based desserts such as ice cream for freezing and cooling purposes, but it is strictly prohibited for direct consumption at the point of sale.

Usage of liquid Nitrogen in Food

The use of liquid nitrogen for adding a dramatic effect to food presentation, although popular, is not in line with the intended technological use as per regulations.

A 12-year-old in Bengaluru recently consumed a liquid nitrogen paan at a wedding and was later diagnosed with perforation peritonitis, resulting in a stomach hole. She had to undergo surgery and spent six days in the hospital before being discharged.

The food safety department in Madurai revoked a shop’s license in April for selling smoked biscuits made with liquid nitrogen.

The FSSAI has made it clear that any food business caught using liquid nitrogen in unauthorized ways will be subject to legal action under the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2006, and its associated rules and regulations.

This includes the illegal use of liquid nitrogen while serving or plating food, which is not permitted according to current food safety standards.


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