Indonesia warns against “dragon’s breath”, a liquid nitrogen candy popularized on TikTok

Local health authorities point out that around 20 young consumers have been injured by the liquid nitrogen that goes into the composition of this treat popular on social networks.

Indonesian health authorities are sounding the alarm. In a long article devoted to this dangerous new phenomenon, The Guardian reports that the government of the Asian archipelago is warning against the consumption of what is locally called “ciki ngebul”, after more than 20 children were hospitalized after ingesting it.

Serious injuries

Extremely popular in Indonesia, “ciki ngebul”, also nicknamed “dragon’s breath”, are rainbow-colored sweets that are readily available from street vendors. They are immersed in liquid nitrogen to give them that smoky appearance, which is all the rage on social networks.

The only problem: before being eaten, the nitrogen in these special sweets must evaporate. A waiting time not respected by the youngest in order to make more “spectacular” videos.

And the consequences are extremely serious, as Dr Dicky Budiman, an Indonesian doctor and researcher in global health security at Griffith University, points out to the Guardian. According to him, if consumed as is, this liquid gas can cause skin burns, intestinal perforations, serious breathing difficulties and even death in the most serious cases.

Call for vigilance

In Indonesia, this delicacy has been around for many years. But its consumption exploded with the appearance on the TikTok social network of dozens of videos showing young users consuming, in the wrong way, “dragon’s breath.” Its sale has gradually become more popular in the country.

“Today, its price is decreasing. Not only is it easier to access, but the number of new companies using this liquid nitrogen is also increasing,” says Dicky Budiman.

In response, local authorities have asked the country’s health agencies to be very vigilant, ordering them to closely monitor restaurants and vendors who use liquid nitrogen. Additionally, the government advised against buying “ciki ngebul” from street vendors.

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