Can you eat glitter?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat glitter? with an in-depth analysis of glitter, the composition of edible glitters, the use of glitter in foods, the difference between edible and non-edible glitters.

Read on to know the risk associated with eating non-edible glitter. 

Can you eat glitter?

Yes, you can eat glitter that is non-toxic and is generally used to decorate food products. Consuming a bit of non-toxic glitter applied to food products will not harm you, so there is no need to worry if you unintentionally ingest something intended for decoration. 

However, individuals who have some gastrointestinal problems and face difficulty digesting small, solid food products, for instance, seeds may have to be especially cautious in these cases.

What is edible glitter made of?

Edible glitter is commonly composed of maltodextrin, cornstarch, sugar, acacia (gum arabic), and colour additives particularly certified for food application, including mica-based pearlescent pigments and those approved by Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, for example, “FD&C Blue No. 1.” 

With the exception of any food allergies, it can be scattered liberally on or in the food, without causing any harm.

Non-toxic or “food contact” glitter, which is usually used to decorate cakes, desserts and doughnuts, is generally safe for consumption in minute amounts, but that does not mean you should be utilising it as an ordinary decoration. 

The Food and Drug Administration has warned against some non-edible glitters and dust advertised for use on foods for decorative purposes. 

As stated by the FDA, there is no big difference between this non-poisonous decorative food glitter and the glitter that you have had used for arts in your childhood. Non-toxic types of glitter can be composed of plastic. 

This glitter is at times marked as for “display” only, with fine print demonstrating that it is not meant to be consumed and should be withdrawn from food products before eating, a difficult task when it is being used straight on icing or whipped cream.

How to differentiate between edible and non-edible glitter?

To determine the difference between edible and non-edible products, follow the directions given below:

  • Vigilantly check the label of any decorative product you are thinking of for use on food products. Firms that manufacture edible glitters and dust are obliged by law to mention a list of constituents on the package.
  • Basic constituents in edible glitter or dust involve maltodextrin, cornstarch, sugar, acacia (gum arabic), and colour additives particularly certified for food application, including mica-based pearlescent pigments and those approved by Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, for example, “FD&C Blue No. 1.” 
  • In most edible glitters and dust, it is also stated as “edible” on the package. If the description clearly states “non-toxic” or “for decorative purposes only” and does not include a constituents list, you should not apply the product straight on foods.
  • If you are buying a ready-made food item from a bakery, ask if the decorative products are all made with edible components. If you do not receive a clear answer, ask to inspect the product descriptions, or remove decorative items before serving the baked items.
  • If you decide to garnish a food product with things that are not edible, make certain to remove them before serving and consuming the food.

Is edible glitter the same glitter we used in arts?

No. edible glitter used on food products for decorative purposes is not the same glitter we used in arts and crafts. 

There are two kinds of glitter you will see that is used for decorating desserts and beverages that include edible and non-toxic. This classification is based on the FDA, which regulates what food products are regarded harmless for human consumption.

Edible products are made for human consumption that must include an ingredient list. In case there is no constituent label, it may not be completely safe to consume. 

Non-toxic products will not kill you, but they are not considered edible, and not subject to the same precise testing as products meant for consumption. Playdough, for instance, is labelled non-toxic, but no one would suggest that you consume it as a snack.

Some edible glitters and dust are sold online or in stores with names, for example, pearl dust, shimmer powder, twinkle dust, lustre dust, disco dust, sparkle dust, highlighter,  and petal dust, but not all are created particularly for use on food, with edible constituents.

Therefore, consumers should strictly check the label of decorative products they consider for use on foods.

Conclusion 

In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat glitter? With an in-depth analysis of glitter, the composition of edible glitters, the use of glitter in foods, the difference between edible and non-edible glitters, and the risk associated with eating non-edible glitter. 

References 

https://www.eater.com/2018/2/14/17008460/edible-glitter-non-toxic-glitter-explained
https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/eat-or-not-eat-decorative-products-foods-can-be-unsafe

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.