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Govt will investigate restaurants serving foods with liquid nitrogen: Harsh Vardhan

According to experts, food and drinks that are prepared with liquid nitrogen should be consumed only after all the gas has bubbled off.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2017 18:49 IST
Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Liquid nitrogen,CyberHub,Gurgaon pubs
On July 13, HT broke the story about a man having a drink laced with liquid nitrogen at a Gurgaon bar and ending up with his stomach ‘open like a book’.(Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

The government will investigate the issue of restaurants serving food and drinks with liquid nitrogen in it, said Union science and technology and environment minister Harsh Vardhan in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The assurance came after a member raised the issue.

The Haryana government had banned the use of liquid nitrogen on Friday, nearly a month after HT reported that a man had ended up with a hole in his stomach after consuming a drink.

The Haryana food and drugs administration department issued an order under section 34 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (Central Act 34 of 2006).

On July 13, HT broke the story about a man having a drink laced with liquid nitrogen at a Gurgaon bar and ending up with his stomach ‘open like a book’. Liquid nitrogen, which has a boiling point of -195.8 degree Celsius, is used by molecular gastronomy chefs to instantly freeze food and drinks. As it evaporates, liquid nitrogen freezes everything around it, including tissues that come in contact with it.

According to experts, food and drinks that are prepared with liquid nitrogen should be consumed only after all the gas has bubbled off.

The colourless liquid is also used to cool computers and in cryogenic medical procedures such as removing warts and cancerous tissues by freezing them.

Liquid nitrogen also has an expansion ratio of 1:694 at 20 degree Celsius, meaning one litre of liquid nitrogen at 20 degree Celsius can expand to 694 litres of nitrogen gas.

“The gas did not have an escape route after the person consumed it and the sphincter closed, this is what led to a perforation (a hole) in his stomach,” said Dr Amit Deepta Goswami, the Gurgaon man’s doctor at Columbia Asia Hospital.

First Published: Jul 31, 2017 18:47 IST