It’s 95-degrees outside, there isn’t a tree within five miles to offer you any shade, and you are in a race against time to eat your triple scoop chocolate chip ice cream cone before it becomes a running stream of melted goo that engulfs your hand.
Then you remember that science has turned this into a fight you can’t lose, because you are eating slow-melting ice cream. That’s the hopeful future we have to look forward to, now that scientists are working on making your ice cream hold up longer in its intended form.
Popular Science is reporting on the biggest news in ice cream since someone realized you could put melted fudge on the stuff. In the United Kingdom, scientists have isolated a protein (called BslA) responsible for a creating a protective, water-repellent protective biofilm in a type of bacteria found in dirt. When they added BslA to ice cream it prevented the fat and sugar from separating. That separation is responsible for the melting and dripping of your favorite frozen dessert, because that separation releases air bubbles that then melt the ice crystals.
While safe to eat (BslA is found in a Japanese soybean dish), there’s no answer to the most important question: does it taste good? If the answer ends up being yes, and they can figure out how to mass-produce it, your ice cream of the future could be available for sale in three years.
As someone that eats ice cream at a pace equivalent to a turtle taking a nap, hurry up science, I’m counting on you. I can’t keep losing all these perfectly fine shirts to melted ice cream stains.
What other food issue would you like to have science tackle? Dig in to our comments section to let us know.
Image: YouTube/Ilsoo Yang