The Indonesian government has urged local health authorities to monitor food establishments and asked parents to be more vigilant after reports that several children were hurt after consuming a type of liquid nitrogen-infused snack.
The snack – known locally as chiki ngebul and often referred to as “dragon’s breath” – is a type of colourful candy that is coated in liquid nitrogen mist
It has taken social media by storm recently, with children recording themselves eating the snack. They then breathe the liquid nitrogen mist out of their mouths.
In a statement on Jan 11, Indonesia’s health ministry highlighted the dangers of consuming the snack. It said that the consumption of the snack over an extended period of time may lead to serious health issues.
The ministry warned that the overconsumption of the liquid nitrogen-infused snack may lead to stomach burns, inflammation, cold burns as well as damage to the internal organs.
It added that inhaling the fumes for a prolonged period of time may also lead to severe breathing difficulties.
On Tuesday (Jan 17), The Guardian reported that around 25 children have since been affected after consuming the snack, with two of them hospitalised
The Indonesian health ministry’s director for environmental health Anas Ma’ruf was quoted as saying by the Jakarta Post last Thursday that there have been at least nine confirmed cases of injuries this year after children consumed the snack.
“From the data that we have collected, (the medical issues arising after consuming the snack) only happened in 2022. We cross-checked (our data) from 2021, 2020 and 2019 and there were no reports of it,” said Dr Anas