It seems that nitrous oxide (N2O) is frequently used to create whipped cream. But why can't just regular nitrogen gas (N2) be used instead?

  • This seems to have more to do with chemistry rather than food (it probably applies to many pressurized food products). You might ask on Chemistry SE.
    – user3169
    Jun 20, 2017 at 5:27
  • If someone could translate this article into an answer, it might be a good answer. Sadly, I can't do it now and I can't verify if it's accurate.
    – Mołot
    Jun 20, 2017 at 9:21
  • Because N2O produces "bubbles" that combine with the fat when expelled from the can, N2 will not produce the same "bubbling" effect and simply will expel thickened milk. But sure a chemist will say you why ;)
    – roetnig
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:04
  • Ahh, so N2 would be too inert for that purpose?
    – ManRow
    Jun 20, 2017 at 11:05
  • 1
    For cross-referencing purposes, this question has be re-asked at Chemistry SE: chemistry.stackexchange.com/q/76505/11616 where it has several answers.
    – R.M.
    Jun 20, 2017 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


To aerosolize the cream to make whipped cream requires the gas be able to be dissolved in the cream. Nitrogen just does not dissolve in cream that well. It could be done with O2. But that would cause it to spoil almost as soon as it was made. For these reasons Nitrous Oxide is used instead of just Nitrogen or Oxygen.

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