Researchers in Japan have reportedly invented the ultimate summer treat: ice cream popsicles that don't melt.
As Quartz reports, scientists from the Biotherapy Development Research Center Co. in Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, asked a pastry chef to make them a new dessert using polyphenol liquid extracted from strawberries. They were trying to find a use for berries harvested in Miyagi Prefecture, which is still recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The berries aren’t in good enough shape to be sold, hence the scientists' desire to repurpose them, but the pastry chef complained that the polyphenol liquid solidified cream on contact, making it difficult to work with. Intrigued, the research center realized it might be on to something, and it began experimenting with different milks, creams, and polyphenol concentrations to make a melt-resistant ice cream popsicle, Japanese daily newspaper The Asahi Shimbun reports.
“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,” Tomihisa Ota, a professor emeritus of pharmacy at Kanazawa University who helped develop the dessert, explained.
The Biotherapy Development Research Center officially began marketing their finished product in April 2017. The popsicles—which are now sold in shops in Kanazawa, Tokyo, and Osaka—can reportedly retain a solid shape even when blasted with a hair dryer for five minutes, and will still taste cool to boot. Now, if the scientists could only make the sweet treats available in the U.S.
Check out the new, melt-resistant popsicles below: