Indonesia warns about trending smoky candy on TikTok

Indonesia warns about the trending smoke candy on TikTok - Photo 1.

Smokey candy “dragon’s breath” is sold at a night market in Indonesia in 2019 – Photo: Zuma Press

Candy ‘dragon’s breath’

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Health, some children have suffered skin burns, severe stomach pain and food poisoning after eating colorful candies that emit smoke called “dragon’s breath”.

The above candies are dipped in liquid nitrogen to create a fuming effect when eaten. They quickly became a trend on TikTok.

Dozens of children have uploaded clips to the TikTok app that show the candy, when put on, with smoke blowing out of the mouth, nose and ears of the person eating it.

A video of a street vendor preparing to make candy for sale has attracted nearly 10 million views.

Health Minister Maxi Rein Rondonuwu said about 25 children had health problems after eating candy, of which two were hospitalized. No deaths have been recorded.

Liquid nitrogen in candy is dangerous

Using liquid nitrogen in food processing is not illegal. Top chefs often use steam to create effects when serving dishes. It is transparent, colorless and odorless, commonly used in medical facilities and as an ingredient for freezing foods.

However, when not used correctly, liquid nitrogen can be dangerous.

“Liquid nitrogen is not only dangerous to ingest, but it can also cause severe breathing difficulties through prolonged inhalation,” Minister Maxi explained.

The first case was reported in July 2022, when a child from a village in Ponorogo Regency in East Java suffered frostbite on his skin after eating the candy.

More cases were recorded in November and December, including a 4-year-old boy hospitalized in the capital Jakarta with severe abdominal pain.

“Schools must educate students about the dangers of liquid nitrogen in candy to prevent more serious cases of food poisoning,” Minister Maxi warned.

In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety warning that people could be seriously injured when eating foods such as ice cream, cereals or cocktails made with nitrogen. liquid.

Clarence Yeo, a doctor in Singapore, said: “This is a dangerous chemical compound. It irritates the stomach and can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Children will be especially sensitive to it if eaten in large quantities. You could end up in the hospital and the worst case scenario could be organ damage.”

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