Ice cream--now with edible antifreeze!

“Edible” and “antifreeze” are two words I never expected to see side-by-side. But edible antifreeze is an idea whose time has come, because someone is finally working on the dilemma of ice crystal formation in ice cream.

Turns out, it’s all about gelatin peptides and the oxygen triad plane they form.

Well duh!

In the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Prof. Srinivasan Damodaran writes: “Binding of this oxygen triad plane to the prism face of ice nuclei via hydrogen bonding appears to be the mechanism by which gelatin hydrolysate might be inhibiting ice crystal growth in ice cream mix.”

I know what you’re thinking: “Hydrogen bonding! Why didn’t I think of that!?”

According to NutraIngredients-USA, this development might help boost the moribund ice cream market in Western Europe. Apparently, from Barcelona to Normandy, Western Europeans are just not increasing their ice cream intake.

Or at least they’re not eating their ice cream fast enough. Because you know what happens when ice cream sits too long in the freezer: Ice crystals form and the ice cream turns gummy. And then there’s only one thing to do: pitch it. Unless it’s 1:00 A.M. and Baskin Robbins is closed. Then, of course, you have to eat it.

It remains to be seen if Prof. Damodaran’s hydrogen bonding technique can be employed on a wide scale to cut back on ice cream ice crystals. But it’s reassuring to know he’s out there working on it.

Sources:
“Edible Antifreeze to Offer Ice Cream Advances” NutraIngredients-USA, 1/10/08, nutraingredients.com
“Inhibition of Ice Crystal Growth in Ice Cream Mix by Gelatin Hydrolysate” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 55, No. 26, 12/26/07, pubs.acs.org

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