Edible Gold: A Luxury Food Trend?

Edible gold has emerged as a popular trend in luxury cuisine over the past few years, with gold leaf and gold dust being used as a decorative element in everything from cocktails to desserts. But what exactly is edible gold, and is it safe to eat?

Photo: Instagram @bachourmiami

What is Edible Gold?

Edible gold is a form of gold that has been deemed safe for consumption by regulatory agencies in many countries, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It can come in various forms, including sheets, flakes, dust, and even gold-infused liquids. Gold is chemically inert and does not react with other substances, which makes it safe to consume. However, it’s essential to note that not all forms of gold are safe for consumption. Only gold that has been specifically processed for food use should be used in edible applications.

How is it Made?

Edible gold is made of 99.9% 24-carat material. To make it safe for consumption, a combination of heat, pressure, and other processing techniques are used to turn pure gold into a form that is edible. The gold is typically alloyed with other metals, such as silver or copper. It makes it more malleable and to create different shades of gold. Then, it is hammered into thin sheets, cut into flakes, or ground into a fine powder.

Photo: Instagram @antonio.bachour

In addition to processing the gold, the manufacturers must ensure that it meets strict safety standards. The gold must be free of impurities and contaminants and must be processed in facilities that follow good manufacturing practices.

Is Edible Gold Safe to Eat?

When consumed in moderation, this luxury decoration is generally considered safe for most people. However, if someone has a known allergy to gold, a rush for example, it is possible that they may also have an allergic reaction if they consume it. It’s important for individuals with a known gold allergy to avoid exposure to gold in any form. If you suspect that you have a gold allergy, you should speak with an allergist or healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance. In addition, excessive consumption of edible gold may lead to complications, such as gastrointestinal problems.

To ensure the safety, it is crucial to only use gold that has been specifically processed for food use and to follow recommended usage guidelines. Most manufacturers recommend using only small amounts as a garnish or decoration and not as a main ingredient.

Photo: Instagram @chezcalvert

The Costs

Edible gold is a luxury item, and as such, it can be quite expensive. The cost varies depending on the form and quantity. It can range from a few dollars per sheet to hundreds of dollars per gram for pure gold dust. For example, a pack of ten 24-karat gold leaf sheets can cost around $60, while a single gram of pure dust can cost up to $100 or more.

Trend in fine dining

While edible gold may be out of reach for most people, it has become a popular trend in fine dining. It adds a touch of opulence to dishes and drinks. Whether it’s a gold leaf-topped dessert or a cocktail with a gold rim, this beautiful shiny accent is sure to make a statement at any high-end event or restaurant. However, it’s important to remember that only gold that has been specifically processed for food use should be used as food decoration, and excessive consumption may lead to complications. It’s essential to enjoy edible gold in moderation and with caution.


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