Liquid Nitrogen

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The commissioner of food safety in Tamil Nadu has directed officials to monitor use of liquid nitrogen in food items and take action against those violating the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

About Liquid Nitrogen

  • It is an inert, colorless, odorless, noncorrosive, nonflammable, and extremely cold element.
  • It is a cryogenic liquid (Cryogenic liquids are liquefied gases that have a normal boiling point below –130°F (–90°C).
  • Liquid nitrogen has a boiling point of –320°F (–196°C).
  • Health impacts:
    • Liquid nitrogen can scorch the organ or part of the body it contacts, making it appear like frost bites.
    • It can damage the lips, tongue, throat, lungs, and stomach. It may cause lesions or burn tissues.
    • If it reaches the stomach, the organ could get perforated. In the lungs, it could produce CO2 and the person could become unconscious.
  • Applications
    • It is used to cool and freeze food rapidly.
    • In food production and industrial processes, a cooling tray filled with liquid nitrogen is used to rapidly cool materials or equipment by immersing the product in nitrogen.
    • In the wellness and sports industry, cryosaunas with liquid nitrogen vapor are used for cryotherapy.
    • Liquid nitrogen test chambers are used in technology and material sciences to test the performance and durability of materials and devices at extremely low temperatures.

Q1: What is Cryosurgery?

Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique that involves the use of extreme cold to destroy or remove abnormal tissues, such as tumors or warts. The procedure involves applying a freezing agent, such as liquid nitrogen or argon gas, directly onto the targeted area.

Source: Liquid nitrogen can be used only to preserve food, stress food safety officials