Ice Cream That Does Not Melt (Immediately)? Sweet!

By on

CCSS NAS-2 Word Search
Melting ice cream on a bridge (Photo Credit: By HTO (Own Work) via Wikimedia Commons

What's better than a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day? How about one that doesn't melt into a sticky puddle within minutes? That, believe it or not, could soon become a reality thanks to the ingenious scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee.

The secret behind this amazing ice cream that could hit grocery shelves within three years, is a naturally occurring protein called BsIA (Bacterial Surface Layer A). Present in foods like Natto, a Japanese breakfast made from fermented soybeans, it is extracted from the Bacillus subtilis bacteria. The scientists who revealed the exciting news on August 31, say that the microorganisms use the BsIA protein to encase and protect their colonies.

Bacillus subtilis via Wikipedia commons

University of Edinburgh's Cait MacPhee, who is leading this sweet effort, says the protein works perfectly for ice cream. That's because it has the physical properties to "protect" the frozen treat by binding together the air, fat, and water. This makes the ice cream more resistant to melting and allows it to remain firm for longer periods of time, even during hot summer days.

As if that is not good enough, the researchers say it also prevents ice crystals from forming. This they believe will allow manufacturers to produce ice creams that are lower in saturated fat and calories without compromising on the texture or flavor. Additionally, the protein will also help reduce their energy costs because the ice cream does not have to be kept as chilled when it is being made or transported.

Photo Credit: Kwekwe CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The icing on the cake or should we say ice cream ? Bacillus or hay subtilis as it is also called because of its presence in the upper layers of the soil, is a very common bacteria. It can be found everywhere - in water, air, ground and even our gastrointestinal tract. This means that it is a "friendly" bacteria and, therefore, perfectly safe to consume.

The researchers have published two papers on how the protein works. One outlines the biological process while the other talks about the physics. More importantly, they have extensively tested (and tasted) the ice creams incorporating the protein and even filed a patent for their process.

As to how long the ice cream will stay frozen? The scientists say that depends on the weather and the flavor. Though some may melt faster than others, they will still last a lot longer than current ice creams. This means we will finally be able to relax and savor the treat, one lick at a time - YUM!


Generate citations in MLA, APA & Chicago formats for this article.

VocabularyPlay Game

bindingbiologicalcompromisingencaseextensivelyextractedfermentedgastrointestinalincorporatingingeniousmicroorganismspatentsaturated fatsavor

Reading Comprehension (4 questions)

  1. What is the name of the protein that helps slow down the ice cream melting process? How does the protein work?
  2. What are some of the other benefits of using the protein?

Critical Thinking Challenge

Can you think of any other foods that this protein would be useful for?


Vocabulary in Context

“This means we will finally be able to relax and savor the treat, one lick at a time - YUM!”

In the above sentence, the word savor most likely means:

(a) the quality in a...

Sign in to use your custom avatar.
  • catlover1527
    catlover1527Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10:47 am
    FINALLY!!!! I have been waiting for some on to invent this for YEARS!!!!!
    • epicguy100
      epicguy100Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 8:48 pm
      i scream you scream everybody scream!!!!!!!!!! FOR NO MORE MELTING ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!
      • arrow84
        arrow84Thursday, March 1, 2018 at 10:43 am
        the song says ice cream ice cream we all scream for ice cream but i scream AT my ice cream every time it starts melting :)
        • allinaThursday, February 22, 2018 at 8:51 am
          that is so cool
          • babykatelyn
            babykatelynMonday, January 29, 2018 at 11:20 am
            • chathena
              chathenaSaturday, January 27, 2018 at 7:36 pm
              • animal666
                animal666Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 5:06 pm
                Also I once in a while I buy ice cream at my school cafeteria and I have to eat it fast or else it'll drip all over my fingers.YUCK
                • animal666
                  animal666Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 5:04 pm
                  That's awesome cause usually I eat ice cream slow so I can eat it slower
                  • beachbreeze12
                    beachbreeze12Saturday, January 27, 2018 at 7:34 am
                    • cutecat6
                      cutecat6Friday, January 26, 2018 at 6:49 pm
                      Mmmm!!!! I would totally like!!!! Especially for my mom!!!! Every time I have a cone, it drips EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!! I was wearing a white dress when I got a cone, and chocolate ice cream dripped all over my dress!!!!!!! So my mom was like, "you won't eat ice cream with a something white on".

                      Recent Comments

                      ivydavis wrote:

                      this dog is so cute I would buy ...
                      "Unadoptable" Rescue Dog Makes H...

                      Aiden wrote:

                      Vending Machine Dispenses Essent...

                      qwertyuioplkjhg wrote:

                      good info
                      Set Up The Leprechaun Trap! It's...

                      Our Apps and Plugins