A popular TikTok craze involves eating extremely hot pickles directly off the container, according to health experts.
Children and adults participate in the hot pickle challenge, which involves chewing on a hand-sized vegetable covered in hot pickle juice and posting their reactions to a video-sharing website.
The snack is produced by US-based Van Holten, and radio anchor Amanda Holden and Hollywood actress Florence Pugh have hopped on board and posted videos of themselves eating it.
Others think the food is wonderful and the heat is tolerable, in contrast to social media stars like Megan Welsh who claim they swell from the fragrance and weep after just one mouthful.
However, nutritionists say eating the snack regularly, which can be bought online or in newsagents for around £1.99, can lead to serious stomach problems.
Amanda Holden said the pickle “smelled great.” The presenter, 52, said the liquid it comes in ‘tastes a bit like the sea but with chilli in it’ and that the pickle itself was ‘gorgeous’ and she ‘loved it very much’
Florence Pugh, 27, said the snack “doesn’t look healthy” and looked “weird” but tasted “hot” and “pretty good”
Nichola Ludlam-Raine, a specialist dietician, said eating highly spicy foods on a regular basis could be harmful to the stomach and intestines.
She said: ‘For some people it can cause reflux, and for people with stomach ulcers it can make symptoms worse.
“I’m all for eating more plant-based foods for fiber, but this isn’t a trend I would recommend my patients try.”
Dr. Duane Mellor, one of Britain’s top nutrition researchers, told MailOnline: ‘One thing to definitely look out for is the high salt content, as this can be around one per cent sodium.’
This means each 1 oz (28 g) serving can contain nearly a quarter of your daily salt, he said.
What’s in Van Holten’s Hot Pickle?
Total fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 0g
Ingredients: Cucumber, water, vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, natural flavor, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate, oleoresin capsicum and yellow 5
However, he added that the fermented foods may aid digestion.
Van Holten states that his Hot Pickle contains zero calories, carbohydrates and fat. However, it has 410 mg of sodium — about 1 g of salt.
Ingredients listed include cucumber, water, vinegar, salt, calcium chloride (a stabilizer), sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate (preservatives), as well as oleoresin capsicum (spice).
Another listed component, Yellow 5, is a synthetic dye.
This is reported by the US Food and Drug Administrationit is possible, but rare, for this color additive to cause an allergic reaction such as itching and hives.
The trend has taken TikTok by storm as #hotpicklechallenge has attracted over 95 million views.
Following the online success, stores in the UK have now started stocking the giant US pickles on their shelves as social media is filled with people desperate for the viral import treat, which is sold on Amazon.
Amanda Holden said the pickle “smelled great.”
The presenter, 52, said the liquid it comes in ‘tastes a bit like the sea but with chilli in it’ and that the pickle itself was ‘gorgeous’ and she ‘loved it very much’.
Florence Pugh, 27, said the snack “doesn’t look healthy” and looked “weird” but tasted “hot” and “really delicious.”
In a TikTok, Lay (@itzlayy1) from the UK tried two versions of the snack: the ‘hot and spicy’ and ‘spicy garlic’ flavour.
The British Lay (@itzlayy1) tried two versions: the ‘hot and spicy’ and the ‘spicy garlic’ flavor
“Guys, I’ve been following the trend,” she told viewers. “I’m really excited.”
However, she didn’t seem happy with the result and looked pained after a while.
“Hot and spicy is a no from me,” she said. However, the spicy garlic got a 5.5/10 from her.
TikToker Leah (@_llcw_), who appears to be based in Staffordshire, said in a video earlier this month: “I don’t normally do these videos…but I wanted to see what the trend was. ‘
“It’s not bad, but it’s not good, you know what I mean… I don’t like the texture.”
Elsewhere, Manchester-based Sandra (@sandra_neo) also made her own reaction clip last month.
“It smells good,” she laughed. “Giant.”
After taking a bite, she admitted that it “definitely has a kick,” but “won’t punch you.”
These products generate video-worthy reactions as the American delights go to the extreme in flavoring.
TikToker Leah (@_llcw_), who appears to live in Staffordshire, tried the pickle in a recent video
Van Holten’s giant pickle, the classic hot, comes in a variety of flavors, including sour dill, “spicy,” and garlic.
Many are given trendy and fun names like “Hot Mama,” “Big Papa,” and “Sour Sis” to go with an animated pickle character on the package.
Since the trend went viral on the social media platform, the trend has boomed and people are now creating their own new and improved versions of the trend.
Many Americans are desperate for a “chamoy pickle kit” – a package where the giant pickle is wrapped in a fruit rollup (the American equivalent of a Fruit Winder) and topped with spicy Mexican snacks and seasonings.
British are now trying to copy them by trying to find British equivalents.
Now #picklekituk has a whopping 30.6 million views on TikTok, as countless creators film their reactions to the concoction which is equal parts spicy, sour, and sweet.
Some brave influencers have even gone so far as to use the super-hot pickle juice as a whiskey mixer.
Google Trends already showed a huge increase in searches for ‘American pickle UK’ in 2019.
Inside TikTok’s newest trend horrifying nutritionists… the ‘Hot Pickle’