The protein, known as BslA, binds air, fat and water together in ice cream, preventing the formation of gritty ice crystals, creating a more stable and smoother consistency. The development could allow the ice cream to be manufactured with lower levels of saturated fat and less calories. This means the ice cream we all love will be a healthier treat without having to sacrifice the taste.
The new ingredient could potentially offer major advantages for ice cream makers as well, allowing it to be produced more efficiently from sustainable raw materials.
Additionally, manufacturers could stand to benefit from their reduced needs to deep freeze their ice cream products. The supply chain would also have a reduced need to keep the product as cold throughout delivery and shipment.
Professor Cait MacPhee, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Physics and Astronomy, who led the project, said,
“We’re excited by the potential this new ingredient has for improving ice cream, both for consumers and for manufacturers.”
While this new development could potentially revolutionize the ice cream industry, implementation of the new ingredient is still a ways out. The scientists are capable of reproducing the protein, but scaling the mass production and infrastructure for it is still an unknown. They've estimated that the ingredient could be available to manufacturers within three to five years.
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