Eating ice cream on a hot summer's day presents something of a challenge—one must tackle the meltiest spots fast enough, before the treat becomes a mess on the ground. But this summer in Japan, people are enjoying better living through chemistry with a new type of popsicle that basically doesn't melt, even in super hot August temperatures, reports Quartz. The secret, it turns out, is in strawberries, which contain polyphenol—a liquid extract that makes it harder for oil and water to separate, and in turn essentially solidifies dairy cream, a Kanazawa University professor who developed the next-gen popsicle tells Asahi Shimbun.
No one set out to make this a reality; it was actually a happy accident. Kanazawa-based Biotherapy Development Research Center was trying to use instead of waste the sub-par strawberries coming out of Miyagi Prefecture, which is still recovering from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The pastry chef charged with using strawberry polyphenol in confections complained that it made dairy cream solidify instantly, which struck the professor as potentially useful. After playing with many variations of milks, creams, and amounts of polyphenol and other ingredients, Tomihisa Ota hit upon the winning recipe, which has been sold as Kanazawa Ice since April. At 500 yen, or $4.50 a pop, Mashable calls it a "small price to pay for a big luxury." (Hangover ice cream is a thing in South Korea.)