In Japan, a caterer invents ice cream that doesn’t melt (and it’s for a good cause)

Melting ice isn’t just a summer problem. It is also a problem in retirement homes, where with age and deteriorating physical condition, food intake takes longer. These elderly people are then unable to eat ice cream, for example. But that was before. After months of research, a Japanese caterer has just developed a chocolate ice cream that does not melt.

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Nutritionists from the Nakasho group, which provides meals to retirement homes, have been working for several years on dysphagia, a swallowing disorder that causes a feeling of discomfort or blockage when swallowing certain foods. It is a disease that can be suffered at any age but whose prevalence is particularly high in the very old. And especially in the Japanese population where 15% of people are now over 75 years old.

In nursing homes, teams therefore adapted: they had thus removed certain foods from the menus, such as ice cream, which melts much too quickly for people suffering from this condition. However, this sweet pleasure is also a high-calorie food, appreciated by many elderly people. So many reasons that pushed Nakasho to put on sale this ice cream that has never melted since this summer.

Concretely, this ice cream, baptized “ZuT”, is able to withstand a heat of 35 degrees for one hour, a record compared to traditional ice cream. This feat was made possible by delaying the melting process, the moment when the high temperatures dissolve the bonds between the fat in the milk, the water and the air bubbles in your ice cream. After batteries of tests, the Japanese researchers discovered that they could delay the destruction of these links by adding certain natural ingredients, such as strawberry polyphenols and another secret ingredient, recovered from certain algae. Nakasho does not wish to divulge its recipe: the group intends to market this new product more widely, available in three flavours, chocolate, strawberry and yoghurt. However, its price remains high, almost six euros per small pot.

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