Ice cream of the future © Getty Images

Ice cream of the future melts in the mouth, not on fingers

Long lasting ice cream might sound like an invention by Willy Wonka, but according to the universities of Dundee and Edinburgh it could be a reality within the next few years.

Researchers have found a naturally occurring protein in bacteria called BsLA, which can be used to create melting-resistant ice cream perfect for the hot summer – or whatever is left of the rainy one we’re having in the UK.

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The protein works by binding to the fat droplets and air pockets to form a more stable structure, stopping those annoying gritty ice crystals from developing and creating an ultra-smooth consistency. The reduced need to freeze ice cream could lead to sweeter tasting products without as much sugar, since our receptors send stronger signals to the brain when food is warmer making food taste sweeter.

This discovery could lead to healthier products containing less saturated fat and calories, the dream of all ice cream lovers.

Companies may also benefit from the protein, as they would no longer need to deep freeze their products or keep them as cold when transporting or selling, while still maintaining quality.

Professor Cait MacPhee from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh said, “We’re excited by the potential this new ingredient has for improving ice cream, both for consumers and for manufacturers.”

The team have estimated the future of ice cream in only three to five years away.


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