Scientists in Japan have created unmeltable ice cream that are guaranteed to make your summer days even better.
Food trends come and go (looking at you, cronuts and kale chips), and only some stay for good. Ice cream that doesn't melt certainly has the potential to become a household name. After all, ice cream may be a go-to treat, but we could all do away with the sticky fingers that go with enjoying ice cream. Unfortunately, ice cream melts—it's what it does.
Not for long, however.
Strangely enough, the disaster that followed the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami gave scientists the opportunity to discover a way to stop ice cream from melting. When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred, people in the affected areas had a hard time coping. Scientists had decided to help struggling strawberry farmers in particular. As a result, they came upon a way to create ice cream that doesn't melt completely by accident.
Researchers at the Biotherapy Development Research Center Co. in Kanazawa asked a pastry chef to create something using polyphenol liquid from strawberries. They intended to use the resulting food to help revitalize the local agriculture.
The pastry chef reportedly got frustrated with the use of polyphenol, because it made dairy cream solidify right away. Tomihisa Ota, a pharmacy professor at Kanazawa University, had a eureka moment and just ran with it. As a result, he was able to develop popsicles that don't melt using polyphenol from strawberries. "Polyphenol liquid has properties to make it difficult for water and oil to separate so that 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," Ota told the Asahi Shimbun.
Of course, the first thing you should do after buying unmeltable ice cream—dubbed “Kanazawa Ice”–is to see if it melts. This is exactly what some scientists and journalists did to test the ice cream's claims. According to a journalist from the Asahi Shimbun, five-minute continuous heat from a hair dryer did nothing to the ice cream from Kanazawa. The ice cream retained its shape and even felt cool.
SoraNews24, another news site in Japan, tested the ice cream as well and recorded the experiment in a time-lapse video. The video shows how the ice cream popsicle held upafter five hours in room temperature. You'll see that the ice cream isn't exactly impervious to heat, but it also doesn't melt so easily. At the end of the five hours, it's mostly just gone soft. However, you'll still even be able to discern the bear popsicle's facial features.
Regular ice cream would probably be unrecognizable after five hours in room temperature. Kanazawa Ice, however, just went soft and didn't actually melt all that much. The ice cream doesn't even go warm and still feels cold to the touch. Thus, it's as much an unmeltable ice cream as we can ask for.
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