Since time immemorial, it’s been pretty much a given fact of life that popsicles will melt under the blazing sun.
But no, no, not in Japan. Scientists there have developed a way to create heat-resistant ice cream, able to keep its shape even under the hot air of a dryer.
The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in many industries in Japan were hit hard, among them strawberry farmers, particularly those located in Miyagi prefecture. As part of authorities’ efforts to boost every sector, the Biotherapy Development Research Center commissioned a pastry chef in Miyagi to develop a new sweet using polyphenol from strawberries.
The initiative was in hopes of exploring commercial alternatives as the strawberry produce that was coming out after the disaster didn’t have the aesthetic appearance to make it into shops.
After some experimentation the research centre began to receive some curious complaints. The pastry chef developing the new confectionery claimed that “dairy cream solidified instantly when strawberry polyphenol was added.”
The man behind the never melting popsicles, professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University, Tomihisa Ota, said of the accidental discovery:
“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.”
Allegedly, polyphenol does not affect the taste or texture of the popsicles. Last July, local news site SoraNews24, got their hands on a bear-shaped popsicle from Kanazawa Ice and made a spiffy time-lapse video showing it slowly dissolving over five hours at room temperature.
Biotherapy Development Research Co is manufacturing these indestructible popsicles and Kanazawa Ice is commercialising them. The company began marketing the innovative product in April, retailing them at outlets in Tokyo and Osaka.