“Did you know that he's invented a way of making chocolate ice cream so that it stays cold for hours and hours without being in the refrigerator? You can even leave it lying in the sun all morning on a hot day and it won't go runny!” --Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka may have thought of it first, but Scottish scientists are making fiction a reality with the invention of slow-melting ice cream.
Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee have discovered a protein known as BsIA that binds together the air, fat, and water in ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming and scoops from turning into a puddle.The product could be commercially available within the next three to five years, researchers said.
"It's not completely non-melting because you do want your ice cream to be cold,” researcher and professor Cait MacPhee told the BBC. “It will melt eventually but hopefully by keeping it stable for longer it will stop the drips."
Right now, the team is tinkering with the protein to make it food-friendly and safe to consume. Best of all, it’s a naturally occurring byproduct, so the ice cream won’t be genetically modified, nor will it taste different.