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Culture > News

Japanese Scientists Have Invented an Ice Cream that Doesn’t Melt

Ice cream season will now last a lot longer—Scientists at Japan’s Biotherapy Development Research Center in Kanazawa have developed an ice cream that doesn’t melt.

According to the Asahi Shimbun, a Japanese daily newspaper, scientists at the Biotherapy Development Research Center created the melt-resistant ice cream by accident. The Research Center asked a pastry chef to make a dessert using polyphenol from strawberries.

Researchers asked the chef to use strawberries in order to assist farmers who had lost their strawberry crops after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, reported Condé Nast Traveler. After the disasters, farmers in Japan started growing strawberries again, but weren’t able to sell much. Researchers decided that using strawberry polyphenol would help farmers with their livelihoods.

As the pastry chef worked on his concoction, he noticed that ice cream became thicker after the strawberry polyphenol was added.

Tomihisa Ota, Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy at Kanazawa University, noticed the thickening of the ice cream and decided, after multiple stages of trial and error, to develop melt-resistant popsicles using the strawberry polyphenol liquid.

“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 to Asahi Shimbun.

The melt resistant popsicles are now available for purchase in Japan from Kanazawa Ice, a local ice cream shop. SoraNews24, a local news website, purchased a bear-shaped popsicle from Kanazawa Ice in July and tracked the changes by video over the course of three hours at room temperature. By the end of the time-lapse video, the ice cream stayed intact and retained its shape.

A cool way to cool off indeed.

Tuhfa Begum is a student at New York University.