Non-Melting Ice Cream: Cool or Not So Cool?

Ice cream that doesn’t melt: Is it a good or bad thing? Discuss!

Your answer may depend on what news stories you happen to be reading.

Swaying you toward the negative may be the hullaballoo over a non-melting ice cream sandwich in Australia. A woman in New South Wales named Mary Salter posted a note on Facebook asking why, after her grandson, in a fit of pique, chucked two halves of a broken ice cream sandwich in her backyard (one piece on the cement and one on the lawn), the frozen treat didn’t melt even “after four days in 26-degree [79 degrees F] heat on cement … in direct sun.”

A spokesperson for the ice-cream-sandwich brand explained to that by “adding thickener to the cream” the company is able to create “a honeycomb-like structure which helps to slow the melting process.”

“When the product starts to melt and liquid evaporates, you are left with what appears as foam,” the spokesperson said.

That sounds kind of gross.

On the other hand, news that Japanese researchers have devised a process to keep popsicles from melting using liquids extracted from strawberries called polyphenols sounds pretty cool. (No pun intended.)

Polyphenol liquid has properties to make it difficult for water and oil to separate, so a popsicle containing it will be able to retain the original shape of the cream for a longer time than usual, and be hard to melt,” the researcher responsible for the popsicles, Tomihisa Ota, a professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University, explained to the Asahi Shimbun.

The non-melting popsicles, Kanazawa Ice, which stay intact and chilly (and apparently cute and tasty) even after 10 minutes in the hot sun, were launched in April and are now being sold in a dedicated shop in Kanazawa and in retail stores in other Japanese cities, including Osaka and Tokyo.

Takeshi Toyoda, the president of Biotherapy Development Research Center Co., which developed Kanazawa Ice, told the Asahi Shimbun the popsicles “will remain almost the same even if exposed to the hot air from a dryer.”

That actually sounds kind of gross, too.

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Photo courtesy of @kanazawaice

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