Is the new chocolate snorting trend safe?

It was invented as a birthday party treat for Ronnie Wood

Chocolate can seem like an additive drug to some, and now it can be taken like one.

Snortable chocolate is now being sold in Vancouver at the Commercial Drive Liquorice Parlour.   

Owner Mary Jean Dunsdon, known as “Watermelon” in the area, told regional newspaper The Province that she came across chocolate snorting while in Belgium.

“I found myself in Antwerp at this wonderful place called The Chocolate Line, and they invented snorting chocolate. I bought a whole bunch and brought it home as I wanted people to snort chocolate in my candy store,” she said.

The practice originated in Belgium and was developed by Dominique Persoone, master chocolatier at The Chocolate Line, when he was asked to produce something original for a birthday party held for Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones.

What Mr Persoone came up with was a device, the ‘Chocolate Shooter’, where consumers would catapult powdered chocolate up their nose.

According to his website, The Chocolate Shooter, it gives “a blast of chocolate pleasure”, arguing that “recent research has shown how important our nose is to us when tasting food.”

Over 25,000 of these ‘chocolate shooters’ have now been sold worldwide.

Nick Eagland, who tried snorting chocolate as part of his article for The Province, told The Independent of his experience: “I was nervous about putting candy up my nose, but when I saw how finely the cocoa powder was ground it seemed like it couldn't hurt all that much.

“I don't know if it was the discomfort of getting something shot up my nose or the sensation of the chocolate melting into my brain, but I got this intense rush of energy, like a big smash of chocolate into my face.”

He added that he would “go for it again”, but would not make a habit out of it.

Dr Daniel Rutherford who practices in Fife, told The Independent:  “If one is too keen on sniffing any finely ground powder to the extent that you get it into your lungs you are asking for trouble.

“If you just take a modest whiff of the stuff so that it only gets into the nasal lining then I suggest it will actually mix with nasal mucus and get swallowed down the back of the throat rather than going ‘straight to the brain’, so you might as well eat it in the first place.”

Ms Dunsdon has said that there “not been one negative response” since she brought snorting chocolate to Vancouver in November.

The new trend arises a year after it was reported that parents in Rhode island were warned that children snorting crushed Smarties (sweets which are different to the UK brand) had serious side effects including infection, irritation in the lungs, scarring and maggots feeding on the sugar inside the nostril. Children from a school in New Mexico were reportedly suspended in November last year for inhaling ground-up Smarties, although the students denied this took place.