Your daily ice cream scoop

Mary
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We promise, we'll quit with the ice-cream fixation once the weather cools down, but:

In its quest to create ice cream as voluptuous as butter and as virtuous as broccoli, the ice cream industry has probed the depths of the Arctic Ocean, studied the intimate structures of algae and foisted numerous failures on the American public. ... For Americans who spend each summer wrestling with temptation, there is fresh hope in the freezer case. New industrial processes, including one that involves a protein cloned from the blood of an Arctic Ocean fish, have allowed manufacturers to produce very creamy, dense, reduced-fat ice creams with fewer additives. ...

Instead of extracting the protein from the fish, which Unilever describes as "not sustainable or economically feasible" in its application, the company developed a process for making it, by altering the genetic structure of a strain of baker's yeast so that it produces the protein during fermentation. This ingredient, called an ice-structuring protein, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is used by Unilever to make some products in the United States, like some Popsicles and a new line of Breyers Light Double Churned ice cream bars. "Ice-structuring proteins protect the fish, which would otherwise die in freezing temperatures," said H. Douglas Goff, professor of dairy sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario. "They also make ice cream creamier, by preventing ice crystals from growing."

Scientists are also working on an ice cream that's rich in omega-3s. As long as I don't have to eat one that's flavored with sea slugs, I'm cool with it.

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July 27, 2006 - 4:05am
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