Lattes got a sprinkle of glitter dust in early November 2017, when reports emerged about shiny gold and holographic-looking “diamond cappuccinos” made at Coffee by Di Bella in Mumbai.
Looking like latte art made with a melted disco ball, these highly instagrammable coffee creations prove that it may be wise to leave the coffee alone. These glitter lattes have spread like wildfire to U.S. cafes from Bellevue, Washington to Sarasota, Florida.
But questions have begun whether the holographic effect created on Di Bella’s “diamond cappuccino” can really be created without using non-toxic (but not edible) disco dust which scientists classify as an environmental hazard.
Donald Schaffner, Professor of Food Science at Rutgers University says “It could be that this stuff is inert and passes through your body but the more nuanced answer is we don’t know about the safety of this. This is putting something in your body not designed as food. I can’t recommend it.”
Certain brands of rainbow disco dust are marketed to bakers as non-toxic, like crayons and Play-Doh. Unlike sugar-based decorations, non-toxic glitters are not considered edible.
In January 2016, the Food and Drug Administration had issued a statement advising bakers to remove these kinds of decorations before serving them to people.