Japan: Ice cream that doesn’t melt
In Japan, serendipity led to the creation of a type of ice cream that does not melt. Following the tsunami and earthquake in 2011, strawberries growing in certain parts of the country were not fit to be sold. A chef was given the task of finding other uses for the fruit. When the chef complained that cream solidified upon contact with the strawberries, scientists from Kanazawa University decided to investigate. The team of researchers found that the strawberries contained a compound called polyphenol. This compound makes it difficult for water and oil to separate, which is what makes regular ice cream melt. When the scientists mixed the compound with ice cream, they discovered that it stopped the ice cream from melting.
The naturally-enhanced product was made available to local businesses in the form of prepressed shapes, and soon became a hit with customers. Some have tested the ice cream by holding it in direct sunlight or even warming it with hair dryers, but it apparently retains its shape for up to several hours, even in warm weather. It is not yet clear if the new non-melting ice cream will go on sale in other countries – for the time being, it is only available in Japan.
See also: http://bit.ly/NL72-Japan-Ice-Cream