Japanese Engineers Have Made Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt

Japanese Engineers Have Made Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt
Design

A secret ingredient helps Kanazawa Ice retain its shape even in high heat

Matt Vitone
  • 7 august 2017

Just when you thought Japan couldn’t get any cooler, scientists there have gone and created a popsicle that is reportedly impervious to heat. Kanazawa Ice, also known as “not melting popsicles,” first hit shelves in the city of Kanazawa in April, and recently started being sold in Tokyo and Osaka as well.

The magic here lies in a specific polyphenol extract from strawberries, which slows the separation of water and oil in the cream, letting the popsicle maintain its shape for longer, even in direct heat. The product was reportedly created by accident. Researchers at the Kanazawa-based Biotherapy Development Research Center were testing out how to make use of strawberries that weren’t of good enough quality to be sold.

After the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami in east Japan, farmers in the affected region struggled to grow product that would be marketable and began looking for alternative uses of their crops. The original idea was to use the strawberry extract to create new types of confectionery, when a pastry chef who was testing recipes noted that the extract seemed to cause cream to solidify and remain frozen.

“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,” said Tomihisa Ota, the popsicle’s developer.

It’s not exactly clear how long the popsicles can maintain their shape in high heat, though a reporter from The Asahi Shimbun said the product “retained its original shape” after five minutes in sunny, 82-degree weather in the middle of July. Takeshi Toyoda, president of the Biotherapy Development Research Center, said the popsicles “will remain almost the same even if exposed to the hot air from a dryer.”

The popsicles are currently selling for around 500 yen (roughly $4.50) in Japan, though the real test will be to see if anyone can get one to retain its shape long enough to be transported out of the country.

Kanazawa Ice

Just when you thought Japan couldn’t get any cooler, scientists there have gone and created a popsicle that is reportedly impervious to heat. Kanazawa Ice, also known as “not melting popsicles,” first hit shelves in the city of Kanazawa in April, and recently started being sold in Tokyo and Osaka as well.

+Asia
+Asia
+Design
+Food
+ice-cream
+japan
+Market Research

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