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Slow-melting ice cream? Yes please!

Picture this – you’re walking along Cottesloe Beach, fresh gelato in hand, when you feel that all-too-familiar drip down your arm.

The days of losing a portion of your gourmet $5 scoop of pistachio perfection to our scorching weather could soon be numbered, after researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee discovered an ingredient which could slow down the melting process of ice cream.

Speaking to 6PR’s Chris Ilsley, Professor Cait MacPhee said the new finding was linked to a previous study involving ‘friendly’ bacteria.

‘There are no bacteria in the ice cream, I hasten to add, it is just the protein they produce which is added to the ice cream,’ she said.

‘Ice cream is a mixture of fat, oil… and basically water and sugar. What this protein does is it coats the oil and fat droplets and keeps them mixed up with the water, because oil and water like to try and get as far away from each other as possible.

‘It coats air bubbles and it stops the air from escaping and the bubbles from popping… and it coats ice crystals and stops the ice crystals from growing.’

Professor MacPhee said the protein, scientifically known as BsIA, could also be used in other foods.

‘Anything where you need to keep oil and water mixed – salad dressings, mayonnaises – but also anything else you need to put a lot of air into, so things like chocolate mousse,’ she said.

Not surprisingly, food manufacturers have taken notice and its estimated the ingredient could be found in supermarket brands within five years.

Listen to the full interview below:

For more Perth Tonight stories, click here.