Scientists have recently concocted a type of ice cream that is slow to melt, thanks to a unique product: banana plant waste, according to a new study.
Columbian researchers Robin Zuluaga Gallego and Jorge A. Velásquez Cock joined scientists from the University of Guelph in Canada to discover what would happen if they added fibers from banana plant waste to an ice cream recipe.
The researchers took cellulose nanofibrils, which are thinner than a human hair and come from banana waste, and grounded them up into an ice cream mix.
Using some analytical tools, the researchers found that when you mix banana fibers into the ice cream mix, the delicious snack will melt slower than normal.
And the fibers may replace the fats in ice cream that give the snack its texture.
In fact, the fibers "improved the creaminess and texture of the product," according to the press release on the study.
“Even better, the shelf life of the product was longer and the ice cream’s creaminess and texture wasn’t worsened,” according to StudyFinds.org.
“In particular, the fibers could lead to the development of a thicker and more palatable dessert, which would take longer to melt,” according to the press release. “As a result, this would allow for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience with the food, especially in warm weather.”
The average American consumes at least 23 pounds of ice cream every year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association.
In 2017, Japanese scientists accidentally discovered a way to stop ice cream from melting, according to Conde Nast Traveler. The researchers asked a chef to see if he could create a dessert using polyphenol liquid, which is extracted from strawberries, because they wanted to help strawberry farmers in Japan who were suffering from dead crops after a 2011 earthquake.
The chef told scientists at the time that "dairy cream solidified instantly when strawberry polyphenol was added," according to Conde Nast.
"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 told The Asahi Shimbun.
Using the same compound, Tomihisa Ota, professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University, eventually developed non-melting popsicles using the compound, The Asahi Shimbun reported.
The popsicles went on sale in Kanazawa, Osaka and Tokyo last year.1 comment on this story
Kanazawa Ice, which developed the popsicles, used the same method to develop a bear-shaped ice cream popsicle that didn’t melt even after spending three hours at room temperature. The ice cream still contained its taste and shape.
“Foodstagrammers, this one's for you: You can now take your time searching for the perfect shot and still enjoy every last drop of your Kanazawa Ice,” according to Conde Nast.
The same ice cream attracted headlines in January after it first went on sale since it could be lit on fire and still not melt.