View Full Version : Self heating drinks

2nd Jul 2004, 09:14
I have a question about self-heating drinks.

Got a small, self-heating espresso that we wnat to give to someone as a jokey present (long story!). The heating element works by mixing two chemicals by "snapping" the base inwards.

The question is, is it safe to have in our hold baggage? What are the rules concerning such items?

Thanks for any advice.

2nd Jul 2004, 11:57
If it contains chemicals there is a possibilty you've to declare it as a dangerous good. And get some placards on it. Flamable, Radioactive, oxidizer, this side up etc etc...

Might be smart to see what kind of gasses are released if the chemical process is started..

2nd Jul 2004, 12:56
I would hope that the only vapour released is of rather strong / pungent expresso.

I tried the previous version of these drinks, (Italian), they were not hot enough, and the heating chemicals were in a sealed package.

As to dangerous goods, perhaps yes...I always considered a strong Italian Breakfast coffee as the most dangerous kick my heart ever had.....except from a young ladies husband...but that as they say is another story....

2nd Jul 2004, 23:33
Suggest you consider it as hand baggage? If I was your crew and the thing cooked off, I'd rather have the fire in the cabin where I can see and fight it, than in the wine cellar where I can't - Maybe that's just me ;)

3rd Jul 2004, 01:08
Sounds spot on to me.

I'm sure I'd feel quite uncomfortable if I packed something im my suitcase that contained a self igniting heat source in amongst easily combustible materials and then had to sit wondering what may or may not be going on with it in the hold whilst at 30-40,000 odd feet!:eek:

The fact you asked the question says it all really, you have a doubt, heed it!:ok:

3rd Jul 2004, 07:48
Nescafe introduced self-heating coffee which was quickly withdrawn amid rumours of potential hazard. However, on trawling the internet (sad, innit?), I found this clipping which suggests that Nescafe Instant Hot Coffee was only a trial anyway!

Is this the end of hot coffee in a can?

Nestlé’s ‘Hot When you Want’ self-heating coffee can is no longer in production. The new can, developed via a collaboration between Crown Cork & Seal, Thermotic Developments and Corus, was launched in the UK to a test market in August 2001 followed by a national roll out.

Although the test was considered successful, revised specifications, improved reliability and costings are issues which have halted further production.

The heating performance of the can needs to be addressed as the temperature increase is not sufficient in cold weather. The optimum temperature for storing is room temperature (approximately 20ºC) which results in a final temperature of the coffee, once the can is activated of around 60ºC. Pressing the button on the base of the can allowed water to enter an internal heat engine. The water mixes with quicklime stored in the heat engine creating a simple exothermic reaction, which in turn heated the coffee.

Nestlé said that the trial of Nescafé’s first ever self-heating coffee in a can came to an end ‘with exciting learnings for Nestlé’s innovation team’.

The company said the test was successful in showing the huge potential for the product. “Trial and awareness quickly reached high levels having overcome many technical and commercial challenges. The can has continually dominated the headlines and sparked debate, proving the interest level in the concept,” a statement said.

The marketing director responsible for the product, Jon Walsh, said, “Consumer reaction to the trial has been very encouraging and the product has generated continual interest. We are now looking to modify the execution so that we can continue to develop this exciting new concept"

3rd Jul 2004, 14:47
If you had one of these in the hold an the heating element did trigger, the lower temp of the baggage would likely mean that the final temp of the coffee would not be high. However, that would lose the 'joke'.

If the can cracked and the heating component leaked, the quicklime would make a real mess but unlikely to damage aircraft. BUT if the chemical leaked from the case and the case was near a cable/junction box, it might do some damage.

My guess is that the joke would be better at some other time!

7th Jul 2004, 08:50
To be honest although the Can was 330ml by the time they had included the heat thing and insulation I reakon you only got about 2 mouthfulls of coffe.