Japanese scientists have discovered a completely organic way to make ice cream retain its shape and not melt for several hours. Now that is what you call a summertime miracle!
According to the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese daily newspaper, scientists at Biotherapy Development Research Center in Kanazawa stumbled upon the miracle-working method by accident earlier this year. Researchers had reportedly asked a pastry chef to create a dessert using strawberries grown in areas impacted by the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 as they wouldn’t grow in a normal shape, so customers wouldn’t buy them. The frustrated chef told scientists that “dairy cream solidified instantly when strawberry polyphenol was added,” and although he believed there was “something suspicious” about the polyphenol, one researcher at the center immediately realised the natural compound’s potential.
Through trial and error, Tomihisa Ota, professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University, soon developed non-melting popsicles.
“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,” he said.
The popsicles went on sale in Kanazawa, Osaka, and Tokyo and lived up to the hype. “When heat from a dryer was applied in an air-conditioned room, a vanilla popsicle that was purchased from a regular shop began melting around the edges almost instantly,” said a reporter. “But the Kanazawa Ice retained its original shape even after five minutes. It also tasted cool.”
Another local news site purchased a bear-shaped popsicle from Kanazawa Ice and documented the changes it underwent over the course of three hours at room temperature. By the end of the time-lapse video, although the Popsicle stick could be removed from the bear’s stomach with little resistance, the ice cream creature still reportedly tasted cool and had largely retained its shape, spreading only a tiny bit as it sunk into its paper bed.