A researcher has devised popsicles that retain their shape in the hottest weather.
We have seen 3D-printed popsicles and foodie popsicles in flavors such as pineapple-basil. Now, an accidental discovery at the Biotherapy Development Research Center, in Kanazawa, Japan, has led to the creation of popsicles that don’t melt. The discovery began with the need to help strawberry farmers in Miyagi Prefecture who had been affected by the 2011 East Japan earthquake and tsunami. Damage from the quake made it difficult for farmers to grow strawberries perfect enough to be sold to choosy Japanese consumers. Searching for an alternate use for the farmers’ crops, the Biotherapy Development Research Center extracted the micronutrient polyphenol from the berries in the hopes of using it as a health food additive. But when the research center asked a chef to create confectionary using the polyphenol, he reported that it caused dairy cream to solidify instantly.
The research center then gave the polyphenol to Tomihisa Ota, professor emeritus of pharmacy at nearby Kanazawa University. Ota used the polyphenol to develop the melt-resistant popsicles. Ota told the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that, “Polyphenol liquid has properties [which] 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.”
The company began marketing the popsicles, called Kanazawa Ice, in April 2017. According to Takeshi Toyoda, president of the Biotherapy Development Research Center, the popsicles will taste cool and retain their original shape even if exposed to the hot air from a dryer. What other products might be able to take advantage of an additive that prevents melting?