In the Lick of Time: Scientists Create Cool New Ice Cream That Resists Melting
Some say ice cream is duct tape for the heart. Unfortunately it’s just as sticky when it inevitably melts and drips all over your fingers. Lucky for frozen dessert lovers everywhere, scientists say they’ve finally solved this sweet puddle of a problem, one test lick at a time.
Yes, researchers at Scotland's Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee have officially made the world a better place. As The Telegraph reports, they created a special protein that keeps crème glacée frozen longer, which, thank goodness, significantly slows down the summertime sadness known as melting. It also stops grainy crystals from forming in the dairy delight.
The good news doesn't end there. Unsexily scientifically named BsIA, the new anti-drip super ingredient also makes ice cream smoother, creamier and -- wait, what? -- healthier, too. That's because it replaces some of the saturated fats and other stabilizers and emulsifiers commonly used to bind oil and water in ice cream. BsIA will help the chilly treat retain it shape and keep it from dribbling down your chin in hot weather, all without sacrificing taste, or so its creators claim. The ultimate cherry on top is fewer calories overall.
“We’re excited by the potential this new ingredient has for improving ice cream, for consumers and for manufacturers,” Cait MacPhee, the lead scientist on the project, tells The Telegraph. So are we.
MacPhee says you shouldn't worry that BsIA-enhanced ice cream is some kind of crazy chemical concoction. "This is a natural protein already in the food chain," she says. "It's already used to ferment some foods, so it's a natural product rather than being a 'Frankenstein' food." Oh, goodie, we'll take three scoops then.
Sadly, the wonder ice cream does eventually crush your childhood dreams and melt, though not nearly as quickly as plain, old ice cream. Exactly how long it goes before dripping isn't completely clear, though.
Regardless, if you're hankering for a heap of the ultra cool stuff, you'll have to hold the cone a while. The anti-melting protein likely won't be available for three to five years. No worries, a Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich should hold you over in the meantime. Those suckers practically never melt.
Related: Dessert, Re-Designed
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.