Just don't do it!
We’ve recently been seeing numerous clips on TikTok and other video-sharing sites showing people experimenting with deep frying water. According to scientists, it’s actually a dangerous trend that could potentially lead to explosion.
Apparently, people are combining water and calcium alginate to form a liquid sphere and then using flour, egg, and breadcrumbs as coating before frying it. American Chemical Society’s Dr Christopher Cramer said that the bizarre trend can be seriously risky as hot oil in a deep fryer is always way hotter than water’s boiling point.
Dr Cramer explained:
“Water boils (turns into the gas we call steam) at [100°C]. And, when that happens, it will expand in volume by about 1,500 times.
“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,” he likewise warned.
Meanwhile, chemical engineer James Orgill said in a media interview:
“There were a lot of cooking channels doing it, but nobody seemed to be talking about the chemistry behind these edible polymers, which I used sodium alginate to make.
“It tasted really gross though. There’s no flavor, and it just tastes kind of salty and slimy. It’s surprising that you can turn water into an edible dish, and it’s a little bit comical to fry it after. It seems ridiculous to say, even impossible.”
Deep frying water was first introduced to the internet by food vlogger Jonathan Marcus on his YouTube channel back in 2016. It went viral online but Marcus was also quick to warn that mistakes in this type of experiment could lead to fatal consequences.
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