What a scoop: Scientists invent slow-melting ice cream

© Toby Melville
Will your sundae last till Monday? Ice cream resistant to the melting rays of the sun could possibly hit the stores within the next three to five years, scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Dundee and Edinburgh believe they have found a new recipe, which should whip fans of frozen treats into a frenzy.

The new ingredient is based on a protein that binds together air, fat and water in ice cream to make it lick hot weather conditions, rendering it more immune to melting.

Besides prolonging enjoyment, the development could mean ice cream is made with fewer calories and lower levels of saturated fat.

The recipe is also said to prevent ice crystals from forming – ensuring a fine and smooth texture.

Scientists say the improvement would make the product delivery and shipping process cheaper and easier.

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Speaking to the Telegraph, experimental bimolecular physicist Professor Cait MacPhee of the University of Edinburgh said the new ingredient will benefit both consumers and makers.

We’re excited by the potential this new ingredient has for improving ice cream, both for consumers and for manufacturers,” she said.

We’re not talking about ice cream that doesn’t melt at all, we’re talking about ice cream that melts more slowly than you would typically expect from a scoop of ice cream sitting on top of an ice cream cone,” she added.

MacPhee told BBC Radio 5 Live the protein used is “already in the food chain” and is natural.

By using this protein we’re replacing some of the fat molecules that are currently used to stabilize these oil and water mixtures so it can reduce the fat content, but it shouldn’t taste any different.

In a statement, Dr Nicola Stanley-Wall, a molecular microbiologist from Dundee University said: “It has been fun working on the applied use of a protein that was initially identified due to its practical purpose in bacteria.”