Ice cream: We all love it and it loves us (except for those that are lactose intolerant, you have our sympathies). However, since ice cream’s invention, one issue has always plagued the consumer: the fact that ice cream melts. As of today, though, that may no longer be an issue.
While British scientists previously isolated a protein in ice cream to reduce the rate at which it melts, Japanese scientists have reportedly discovered a way to make ice cream that flat-out does not melt. Even better, it was all an accident.
According to the report, scientists at Japan's Biotherapy Development Research Centre in Kanazawa city were experimenting with polyphenol, a liquid extract from strawberries, and asked a pastry chef to make a dessert using it. However, when the pastry chef performed the task, they complained that the cream they were using “solidified instantly” when the polyphenol was added to the mix. At that moment, the scientists knew they had something.
"Polyphenol liquid has properties to make it difficult for water and oil to separate, so a popsicle [or ice cream] containing it will be able to retain the original shape of the cream for a longer time than usual, and be hard to melt," Tomihisa Ota, a professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University, who developed the ice cream pops, told the Asahi Shimbun.
To test the new ice cream's structure, a Japanese reporter held out one of the ice cream pops in 82 degree heat for five minutes and the frozen treat both “retained its original shape” and even still tasted cool. Other local reports have claimed that the ice cream pops maintain their shape after being left out for upwards of three hours. Currently the research centre is only manufacturing and selling their ice cream products in Japan, each of which sells for 500 yen, or about $4.50 in USD.
This news comes on the heals of a story out of Australia involving ice cream sandwiches that also don't melt in the sun. However, the grocery store producing these ice cream sandwiches, Coles, has yet to reveal their secret/magic.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.