Sure, ice cream is made for hot summer days, lazing around in the sun, and enjoying the warmer temps, but if this is true, then why does ice cream melt so darn quickly? The question of ice cream’s “staying power” has been on the minds of a collection of researchers led by Jorge Velásquez Cock, a chemical engineer and graduate student at Pontifical Bolivarian University in Medellín, Colombia.
Velásquez Cock lives near a banana-growing region of Colombia. The thick stalk that attaches each banana bunch to the plant’s trunk is typically considered garbage, but these stalks are rich in cellulose.
Cellulose is an ingredient in paper, cellophane, and certain types of fabric but it’s also used in some foods. Since cellulose molecules stretch out and take up more space as they dissolve in water they can significantly increase the viscosity of a liquid.
Velásquez Cock’s study suggests adding banana cellulose might improve the texture of traditional ice cream by delaying the melt. This idea, however, still very much in it theoretical stages. Until a procedure to efficiently pull large amounts of cellulose from banana wastes is developed, we will remain licking rivulets of sweet sticky ice cream from our finger and forearms all summer.
Next time you visit historic Downtown Gresham, stop by Frenzi Frozen Yogurt and treat yourself! Visit our menu to see our seasonal offerings and plan your next visit. Don’t forget to stop by every Wednesday for Waffle Cone Wednesdays – buy one desert and receive one waffle cone or waffle cup free!