What happens when you eat gold?
Gold is a precious mineral that is used in jewelry. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile pure metal known. Currently the gold price has reached above $900 for each troy ounce or 12 ounces. Besides being used for jewelry, gold is also used in drink and food as luxury decoration or a symbol of wealth. The gold we are talking about here is not the solid gold that is used in jewelry, for making rings, earrings, or necklaces, but is gold leaf, gold flakes, or gold dust that is added to be the topping of the food.
Pure gold leaf is 24 karat. In its pure state it is very soft and delicate. Therefore, it is typically mixed with other alloys to create different levels of hardness and to adjust the color tone of the leaf. That is why most jewelry is 14kt, 18kt or 22kt gold (mixed with copper, etc.) because 24kt gold is too soft for jewelry for daily wear and tear. Gold leaf is the same principle. Mostly mixed with copper, silver, etc. The alloys mixed in to create these variances are not edible (like copper).
The problem is can we eat gold?
As we know gold is category as metal element which is toxic in our body and element that can’t be break down or ingest by our body. Edible gold is almost pure gold, but mixed with silver only, which is edible, so it is completely digestible. Edible gold is tasteless and doesn’t offer any nutrition, so it is only used in decorating food and drink to be more luxurious and precious. Gold also has an E number of 175 stated as food coloring.
Ten grams of edible gold costs a pound $500 and can usually only be afforded by the wealthy people to show they are rich and fulfill their demand for luxury lifestyle. Many high class restaurant chefs also use edible gold to decorate their food; usually they only put a few edible gold flakes on the top of the food to increase the class and the price of it. Now, if we think about that gold is only a tasteless and non-beneficial mineral to consume, and how expensive it is, the mystery is why do people still demand it?
The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate
As an example of the use of gold on food items, there is the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate introduced by Serendipity 3, a popular restaurant in the Upper East Side of Manhattan founded by Stephen Bruce. The Frrrozen Haute Chocolate costs $25,000 and was named the world’s most expensive dessert by Guinness World Record. The dessert is a frozen, slushy mix of cocoas from 14 countries, milk and 5 grams of 24-carat gold topped with whip cream and shavings from a La Madeline au Truffle, they even add several gold flakes for more luxury. It is also served in a goblet with a band of gold decorated with 1 carat of diamonds and served with a golden spoon diners can take home. Many visitors came to witness the ceremony of the world’s most expensive dessert being recorded for the Guinness Book of World Records, but most of them commented that it is too expensive or too much of a luxury item for a cup of cocoa on a Sunday morning.
Goldwasser is a strong root and herbal liqueur which has been produced since at least 1598 in Danzig. The most prominent characteristic of this alcohol beverage is small flakes of 22kt or 23kt gold suspended in it. Alcoholic solutions were used by artists for Gilding, which is believed to be the inspiration for the drink. Alchemy, which was at its high point in the 16th century when Goldwasser appeared, held gold to have many desirable medical properties. Since the flakes are extremely small and thin, the price is not prohibitive. For a 750ml bottle of Goldwasser, it just cost around $30, which is more affordable for all people who want to try a taste of gold liqueur.
During Japan’s bubble economy period, in Kanazawa, which is the centre of gold leaf production, it is in a hard situation where the demand for gold leaf has decreased rapidly. They then try to sell it by combining the gold leaves with coffee, green tea, and hard candy. The gold leaf used in coffee usually is floating in the cup and in form of tiny letters. This pure gold leaf cannot simply be dropped onto a cup of coffee. The gold leaf is so thin that it crumples easily, making it difficult to work with. However, coupling it with an edible film that dissolves in water makes it easy to handle.
Generally, edible gold is not harmful to the human body. Pure gold is non-toxic and non-irritating when ingested, but it needs to be pure gold. Lots of gold jewelry is made using a mixture of gold and other metal which can cause heavy metal toxicity, so they are not edible. Another health issue regarding gold is damage to liver and kidneys caused by gold salts, which is mostly use for medical purpose. Even pure gold can be digested safely but having too much gold in our body may cause certain health issues.