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Naturally-occurring protein has melting ice cream problem licked

Naturally-occurring protein ha...
Scientists in Scotland have discovered a protein that helps prevent ice cream melting
Scientists in Scotland have discovered a protein that helps prevent ice cream melting
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Scientists in Scotland have discovered a protein that helps prevent ice cream melting
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Scientists in Scotland have discovered a protein that helps prevent ice cream melting

There are few things that go as welltogether as an ice cream cone and a hot summer's day, but it can be a raceagainst the clock to get the sweet treat down before it turns into a stickymess cascading over your hands. Such disasters could become a thing of the pastthanks to scientists in Scotland who have discovered a naturally-occurringprotein that can be added to ice cream to make it melt more slowly.

Researchers from the Universities ofEdinburgh and Dundee discovered that a protein called BslA can bind togetherthe air, fat and water in ice cream, thereby slowing the melting process andcreating a smooth texture and consistency like that found in expensive icecreams. The protein is a bacterial hydrophobin, which is a family ofcysteine-rich proteins expressed by filamentous fungi – aka mold.

That may not sound like something you'dwant added to a serving of Rocky Road, by the researchers have found a way toproduce the protein using "friendly bacteria." When added to icecream, the protein adheres to fat droplets and air bubbles, resulting in a morestable mixture that takes longer to melt.

Because of this, the researchers say theprotein, which can be produced from sustainable raw materials and processedwithout loss of performance, would result on energy savings for manufacturers and suppliers as the ice creamwould not require the same level of refrigeration throughout its supply chain.

The protein could also allow for the development ofice cream with lower levels of saturated fat and prevent theformation of ice crystals that get bigger and crunchier with every partial meltand re-freeze that currently occurs when you pull the tub out of the freezerfor a serve and put it back in.

The researchers believe slow-melt ice creammade with the new ingredient could be in store freezers within three to five years.

Source: University of Dundee

6 comments
Brian M
Point is you are meant to enjoy the ice cream while its cold!
This technique doesn't prevent the ice cream from warming up so doesn't improve the end user experience, probably worsens it if its then served warmer (less cool in every sense!).
Perhaps it might reduce the temperature at which its stored - but not convinced that's a good safety feature.
So thumbs down from here for this!
wle
mcdonalds milk shakes never thaw, they just add something starchy, flour, arrowroot, who knows
it isn;t rocket science
wle
jproffer
They should really credit the actual source of this discovery: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=132798
Don Duncan
As an ice cream addict for 68 years I can testify that melting was rarely a problem. It didn't last that long in the cone. But I don't see longer shape holding ice cream as a bad thing.
The problem is two fold: 1. Hydrogenation. 2. Pasteurization. The first clogs the arteries. The second kills the nutrients. Neither as been necessary since refrigeration. They exist for the benefit of the maker/distributor/seller at our expense. And no choice is available thanks to crony capitalism (dairy industry collusion) which is used to prevent the selling of raw ice cream.
Never fall for the lie that we are too stupid to choose, and need (must have forced down our throats) a law to "protect" us. Freedom of choice is always best for the majority. Those who are hurt/die from their mistakes do not justify the vast majority being treated like children, especially since the laws are made by/for special interests at our expense.
the.other.will
BsIA sounds great, so long as ice cream made with it remains soft at colder temperatures.
Bruce H. Anderson
Ice cream is kept at cold temperatures so that it remains rigid, which keeps the package stable during transport and storage. And the more premium (higher butterfat) the ice cream, the colder it needs to be. Typically that means -15F to -20F. This is more important for larger containers of ice cream, like half-gallons and buckets since the product provides the rigidity. On the novelty side it is not as critical since the cardboard/paperboard packaging provides the necessary structure. There may be some benefit to this slower melting on those occasions where the container you dipped in to and inadvertantly forgot to put away gets soft a little too quickly. You can put it back in the freezer and risk ice crystals, or choose the better path and have seconds (or thirds).