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Can Platinum Be Eaten? 

Slofoodgroup Team December 14, 2022

Those who are new to decorating sweet treats, might find themselves wondering if all of the various metals being used to amplify the “wow factor” of culinary treasures are really safe for consumption—platinum included. If you are amongst them and considering using this precious periodic element to don your own concoctions but are wary of how it might impact those ingesting it, fret not. After reading this article, you will be able to confidently serve your guests a gorgeous treat fit for royalty and answer any questions you are presented with as they ogle your edible art.

To answer your first question, though—yes, platinum can be eaten and it is perfectly safe to do so. 

What happens when you eat platinum?

As is the case with edible silver and edible gold, edible platinum is a biologically inert substance, which means it neither provides nutrients nor does is it harmful to our overall health. Instead, it simply passes through the body.

Is platinum good for body?

Actually, “passing through” might be an oversimplification. Allow us to expand. You see, the human body doesn’t need platinum. When it is ingested, it makes its way to the kidneys, along with other “waste” that doesn’t belong in our bloodstream (we’ll come back to the reason the word, “waste” is in quotes). The kidneys then filter the platinum out of the body through urination—like an innocent stranger passing through, nothing lost, nothing gained (except that feeling of knowing you’ve just indulged on a visually stunning piece of culinary art). 

Is platinum toxic?

In the last paragraph, we referred to platinum as “waste” that finds its way into our kidneys, rather than the bloodstream. This reference does not mean it is harmful to the body. It is simply not an element that is needed to help the human body function. Studies have shown no toxicity from platinum metal when ingested. Being biologically inert, it is “poorly absorbed and cleared from the body within a week”.

That said, metallic platinum and soluble platinum compounds should be looked at separately when considering toxicity. Though the “human health effects from biomonitored levels (of soluble platinum compounds) from low environmental exposures are unknown” when they are encountered at high levels (not ingested), instances of hypersensitivity and respiratory distress have been noted. So, if you find yourself researching whether or not it is safe to eat food-grade platinum further, you might want to disregard any claims of inhaled platinum symptoms, because the two instances are not the same. 

Want to learn more about edible metals? Here are a couple of posts we think you will enjoy:

Everything You Need To Know about Edible Silver Foil

What is Edible Gold?