“Heaven help you when that oil begins to rain down”
If you think deep fried Mars bars are bizarre, steer clear of the new TikTok trend which sees people combine hot oil with something a whole lot less tasty and a lot more dangerous: water.
Using either calcium or sodium alginate to form a thin shell to contain the water, individuals then coat it in breadcrumbs before frying the balls – but scientists are warning against making such a pointless foodstuff.
Dr Christopher Cramer, of the American Chemical Society, told MailOnline: “Bottom line: good heavens, don’t do this!”
He went on to explain that a deep fried object or ‘nugget’ is typically cooked at temperatures beyond 400F (more than 200C), while water boils at 212F (100C).
“When that happens, it will expand in volume by about 1,500 times.”
He continued: “That will happen pretty much in an instant, as the first portion to boil will break the nugget, and the resulting exposure of all of the remaining volume to the hot oil will flash it to steam immediately.
“So, that’s basically an explosion in a vat of hot oil – and heaven help you when that oil begins to rain down onto the gas flame or hot electric burner,” Dr Cramer added.
In other words, there’s a risk that the membrane shell could split or break, unleashing water into boiling hot oil.
In case you needed to see what that would look ike, firefighters at Stansted Fire Station offered up this demonstration, illustrating why the two really don’t mix:
One TikTok creator who recently decided to try frying water was Trendy Chef, an account dedicated to deep frying “everything”.
Earlier attempts go back as far as 2016, with YouTuber Jonathan Marcus – who has more than 1.2 thousand subscribers on the platform – deciding to try it out at home.
The video description from Marcus reads: “This is potentially very dangerous. If water leaks out while the sphere is frying in hot oil, it may explode sending scalding oil everywhere.
“Do not attempt without proper safety precautions. Do not consume until cooled down or you may get burned. Also they don’t taste particularly good.