Japanese scientists have accidentally created a cool solution to stop ice cream melting before you’ve had time to finish it.
The ice cream retains its original shape in 28°C (82.4 F) weather and still tastes ‘cool’, according to the report.
These strange-looking deserts were first created by mistake by a pastry chef looking to make use of odd-shaped strawberries.
The chef tried to use the strawberries in other ways, and at one point, complained that they caused cream to solidify. Hearing of the complaint, a team at Kanazawa University took a closer look and discovered that a compound called polyphenol in the strawberries was responsible for solidifying the cream. The extract, they found, makes it difficult for water and oil to separate, which is what occurs in regular ice cream. They tried mixing it with ice cream and found it would prevent the ice cream from melting.
‘Polyphenol liquid has properties to make it difficult for water and oil to separate’, said Tomihisa Ota, a professor at Kanazawa University.
‘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’.
Because the extract is completely natural, it did not require testing by health inspectors—instead, it was made available to local shop owners.
Local media picked up the story, and soon, the news spread around the world. Local newspapers have been running stories reporting on how the ice cream tastes and how well it stands up to warm temperatures. By all accounts, the ice cream maintains its shape for several hours in warm weather, and still feels chilly in the mouth.