United Kingdom – Scientists at the University of Edinburgh discovered a protein named BsIA which made possible the development of a longer lasting ice-cream. Researchers from Edinburgh’s physics and astronomy departments studied this phenomenon that has puzzled the world of gastronomy since ice cream was invented. These smart academics created a new formula that delays the timing of the melting process.

“We’re not talking about ice cream that doesn’t melt at all, we’re talking about ice cream that melts more slowly than you would typically expect from a scoop of ice cream sitting on top of an ice cream cone for example” said Kate MacPhee, biological physics professor at the Institute of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems at the University of Edinburgh


Melting ice -cream cones and brightly manicured nails from Brooklyn-based Jonathon Kambouris photographer.
Melting ice-cream cones and brightly manicured nails from Brooklyn-based photographer Jonathon Kambouris .

How is it possible?

BsIA protein is already in the food chain and scientists are using it to ferment some foods naturally. Besides, the researchers found a way to produce this protein due to its existence in natural food. “It has been fun working on the applied use of a protein that was initially identified due to its practical purpose in bacteria”, says Dr Nicola Stanley-Wall of the University of Dundee.

Its functionality basically wraps the fat, the air and the water of the ice cream all together as one link, providing extra heat resistance and a smoother texture which prevents ice crystals from forming.  Kate MacPhee realized that the self-assembly properties of proteins underpins the texture of foodstuffs such as egg, meat and milk products.

“The molecules that are responsible for the vast majority of functions in living organism. It is understanding this process of self-assembly to prevent or reverse disease, or to drive the development of new materials and foodstuffs that forms the focus of my research efforts.” MacPhee stated.

Furthermore, thanks to this development, common products such as chocolate and mayonnaise which are massive consumption products will contain less calories and lower fat percentage in the near future, making them less greasy and healthier for human intake.

The product is not 100 percent melt-proof, but the objective was exclusively to prolong the melting process. The researchers said that approximately in three to five years we will have these “super ice creams” available for consumption.

Source: The Guardian