Whenever I get out the liquid nitrogen to do experiments and science magic shows I always have to end by eating something that has been soaked in the liquid nitrogen! When the liquid nitrogen vaporizes in my mouth and "smoke" pours out of my face, people start to pay attention! While preparing for a presentation in Las Vegas I decided to test out some other food items to see what would work best in the show. I had hoped that donut holes would be the winner but, as you can see in the video, they were the worst choice ever!
What is liquid nitrogen?
Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen that has been cooled down to -321 degrees Fahrenheit (-196 Celsius). When the liquid heats up above this temperature it boils and turns from a liquid into a gas.
Is is safe to eat food soaked in liquid nitrogen?
Yes and no. Liquid nitrogen can be very dangerous because it is so cold. Exposure to liquid nitrogen can cause frostbite and "burns" which can damage eyes, skin, your mouth or any other part of your body. Never let the liquid or food soaked in it to sit on your skin, tongue or mouth for more than a second or less. Always use special Cryo Gloves and an approved carrying container called a Dewar.
The foods I use have air gaps which fill up with liquid nitrogen. When the food is eaten and the liquid comes into contact with the warm air in your mouth and saliva it heats up quickly and vaporizes. This is the "smoke" you see pouring out of one's mouth when eating foods frozen in liquid nitrogen. Most of this smoke is water vapor (basically a small cloud as the warm moist breath condenses into droplets) with a small amount of nitrogen vapor.
Where to buy liquid nitrogen?
Liquid nitrogen can be purchased at any industrial gas supplier or medical gas supplier. Start by searching the internet for local providers then make some phone calls to see if they carry liquid nitrogen. Most places will not sell you any liquid nitrogen without a Dewar which is a specialized container for transporting the liquid (find a Dewar at Amazon).
How much does liquid nitrogen cost?
Liquid nitrogen is sold by the liter (or gallon) and varies from $0.10 (US Dollars) per liter for bulk purchases up to $5.00 per liter for small quantities. Start by calling around and comparing prices.
Want to see more foods soaked in liquid nitrogen?
Check out my other page "Eating Liquid Nitrogen Oreos and Cookies"
Keep on Learning!