Skip to main content

Japan introduces non-melting ice cream

| Innovation and technology

Biotherapy Development Research Centre, in Kanazawa, Japan, has discovered a new ingredient that has helped in the creation of a non-melting ice cream product that currently retails in parts of Japan, reports Mintel.

The ice cream innovation, known as Kanazawa Ice, features polyphenols from a strawberry extract—the ingredient that was discovered upon accident when researchers were attempting to make a strawberry dessert.

According to the researchers, strawberry polyphenols work as an emulsifier, keeping the oil and water phases of ice cream from separating. This allows the frozen treat to retain its shape. Local news reports in Japan have confirmed Kanazawa Ice does not melt like traditional ice cream on hot days.

This is not the first time scientists have developed a slower or non-melting ice cream.

In 2015, researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee discovered that using a certain protein found in natto, a fermented soybean product from Japan, can help keep ice cream from melting.

The protein works as an emulsifier, binding the ice cream matrix of fat, air, and water. The protein may also help reduce the formation of ice crystals that can give ice cream a gritty texture.

Big win for Chinese parents

According to Mintel’s Ice Cream China 2017 report, over a third of ice cream consumers aged 20-49 would be interested in ice cream that is made with new technology (eg slow melting). Additionally, consumers with children in the household are especially keen on the idea as compared to consumers without children.

While non-melting ice cream may intrigue consumers, ingredients like the strawberry polyphenols also provide manufacturers with the potential to improve the shelf-life of ice cream by slowing ice crystal formation.

Additionally, these ingredients could be used to develop more innovative, longer-lasting novelty ice cream shapes. In fact, eight in 10 Chinese consumers aged 20-49 are very interested or somewhat interested in ice cream that come in innovative shapes (eg flower, noodles). Consumers with children in the household are also more likely to agree they would be interested in ice cream with customised flavours or shapes.

What we think

Although there are other stabiliser and emulsifier ingredients which are widely used by ice cream manufacturers, the new strawberry polyphenol could potentially be used as a natural alternative, considering the origins of the ingredient.

All that said, more research about the functionality of strawberry polyphenol, as well as information about how the ingredient is processed and how it would be labelled on a finished product, is still needed.

Source: Mintel

Pin It

Related Articles

Pick n Pay launches new money transfer service,...

Pick n Pay has set a new standard in affordability and accessibility with the launch of its store-to-store Domestic Money Transfer service. At R8.00 per transaction, it is the cheapest price for customers within retail stores.

Retail tech: what to expect in 2024

By Mike Smollan, Chief Growth Officer at Smollan With technology constantly on the move, the retail industry has no choice but to adapt to keep pace and up to speed with the broader changing face of consumer expectations.

Retail trend riptides: time to sink or swim

By Nicola Allen – Senior Retail Analyst, Trade Intelligence Retail trends do not occur in isolation; they are the result of macro influences that shape consumer and shopper behaviour and retailer strategies. In the ever-evolving world of retail, ...

FNB offers the cheapest licence disc renewals i...

By: Myles Illidge - MyBroadband FNB recently slashed the pricing of its licence disc renewal service from R171 to R99, including delivery, making it the cheapest provider in South Africa.

Woolworths’ cashless service at its WCafé divid...

By: Anita Nkonki - IOL Reports that global retail giant Woolworths will go cashless sometime this month have been met with fierce opposition on social media.