Sticky fingers may just become ancient history with the British scientists inventing a version of ice cream that will melt slower ever in the heat of the sun.
A team of scientists from the University of Edinburgh found a way of keeping the main ingredients of ice cream together even at very high temperatures. The inspiration came from a Japanese soybean food called natto. The researchers found that in natto there is a protein that bounds together soybeans into groups of gummy strings.
By applying the same process in ice cream the scientists were able to glue together the frozen water and fats in the tasty treat. The naturally occurring protein was extracted from the traditional Nippon dish and was inserted in ice creams during experiments. The result? a delicious, unaltered slow-melting ice cream. The product can stay frozen for about as three times longer than your regular ice cream.
The inexpensive wonder protein found in natto can be extracted from soybeans and it represents a breakthrough for ice cream makers as their products will lo longer be as easily deteriorated by heat. Additionally, their findings are accompanied with other good news. Because saturated fats will no longer be required in the making of ice cream, mixtures that are low in calories may now be produced. The protein will likely be used in other products as well.
The protein is also a powerful bacteria repellent, especially in liquid environments. Past studies were interested in the properties of this protein, but this new study is the only one that thought of applying it on an edible product. Slow-melting ice creams are not news though. A couple of years back, Nestle had released in China a type of ice cream that could last up to three hours in the sun due to the popscicles coating applied over the ice cream.
Slow-melting ice creams may hit the stores in less than five years, which comes as great news for store suppliers, who no longer need constant low temperatures to prevent their products from melting.
Photo credits: Wikipedia