Picture this: A hot summer night, you have on your favorite shorts along with your comfiest sandals, and you decide to go out for a nice, cold, delicious summer treat: ice cream. “Two scoops of double chocolate brownie in a waffle cone,” you say to the teenage girl working the walk-up window. Your mouth waters as she hands you that wonderful, scrumptious treat. You take a few licks and enjoy the chocolaty taste but then, oh no! Your heavenly dairy delight is melting! It’s all over your hands, your face, and maybe even dripping down onto your bare toes.
Sound familiar? If you dread the almost certain and always tragic ice cream melt...you may be in luck. Scientists at Japan's Biotherapy Development Research Center in Kanazawa City discovered how to make ice cream that does not melt.
Crazy right? What’s even crazier is that the scientists discovered this non-melting ice cream by accident. According to an article by Refinery29, the scientists were experimenting with a chemical called polyphenol. Commonly found in fruits and vegetables, polyphenol liquid has properties that make it difficult for water and oil to separate.
Originally, the Japanese scientists were trying to help strawberry farmers in the area who had been affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. They wanted to find a new dessert that used strawberry polyphenol so that the farmers had a larger market for selling their strawberries. The scientists enlisted help from a pastry chef, hoping he/she would be up to the task. While the chef was attempting to make this new dessert, he/she found, “the cream being used in the dessert kept solidifying when the polyphenol was added.”
Thus, non-melting ice cream was created. The research center started manufacturing cream-based popsicles, and now they're sold at shops all over the country. Don’t believe it? Rocket news shot a time-lapse video proving that the ice cream spectacle is true.
Some of you might find this as old news. You may remember seeing the videos of the Wal-Mart Great Value Ice Cream Sandwiches that don’t melt. You’d be right in your memory, but the reason for the impervious ice cream was much different than the Japanese breakthrough.
Back in 2014, a boy in Cincinnati accidentally left a Wal-Mart Great Value ice cream sandwich outside. When his mom found it 12 hours later, she was shocked to discover that even on an 80-degree day, the ice cream hadn’t melted.
As it turned out, the “low-fat ice cream bar” consisted mostly of water and other chemicals...aka not actually ice cream. Sean O’Keefe, a professor and food chemist at Virginia Tech explains, “the more cream—meaning fat—ice cream has in it, the faster it melts. Nonfat ice cream takes longer to melt than fatty ice cream because it has more water in it. More water means the ice cream will have to absorb more energy before it can melt. Also, low-fat ice creams tend to have more air whipped into them, which allows them to keep their shape longer,”
Aside from water, Walmart’s Great Value ice cream sandwiches contain corn syrup, guar gum, and cellulose gum. All of these ingredients also contribute to their failure to melt. For comparison, popular ice cream brand Jeni’s Ice Cream does not contain any of these ingredients.
If you do feast on Walmart’s Great Value ice cream sandwiches from time to time--don’t worry. According to the FDA, it’s safe to eat ice cream with corn syrup and those “gums.”
Non-melting ice cream isn’t being sold in the United States yet, but thanks to DicksonOne, you can monitor your freezer’s temperature so that a mass melting doesn’t occur, and you’re always just two spoons away from your next pint.
Dickson is not only about data collection. We also have a variety of services ready to meet your needs. From Validation to Temperature and Humidity Mapping, where here when every point of your process matters.