A 1970s report by the Food and Drug Administration indicated that the ever-popular silver sprinkles seen on many homemade holiday sweets are not edible.
The FDA deemed in 1977 that silver sprinkles, also known as silver dragées, are to be used only for decoration and are not intended for human consumption due to their metal coating.
“When small silver balls known as “silver dragees” are sold exclusively for decorating cakes and are used under conditions which preclude their consumption as confectionery, they are not considered to be in the category of a food or confectionery,” the agency wrote at the time.
As the Huffington Post pointed out, the FDA has taken a strong stance against mineral substances as food additives since 1906. The Post reported that silver cannot be sold as an additive in 49 states and the 50th, California, banned the sale of dragées altogether.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) stated that there aren’t many studies on the effects of colloidal silver.
The agency did caution that the most common side effect of consuming silver is argyria, a “bluish-gray discoloration of the skin,” which is typically permanent. It also claimed that silver can cause the body to have difficulty absorbing certain medications, such as antibiotics.
Though silver dragées surge in popularity during the holiday season, the FDA recommended seizure or detainment in response to shipments of “silver coated food articles not confined to decorative use only.”
But for bakers who are determined to use the metal balls, The Baker’s Kitchen offered a simple solution: take them off before eating.
[Featured Image: Kitschcakes/Youtube video screeshot]