Melt-resistant ice cream is here: Using banana extract, scientists concoct breakthrough recipe

NEW ORLEANS — Science has finally led us to one of the greatest innovations of humankind: ice cream that doesn’t melt quickly on a hot day. The secret, according to a new study? Banana plant waste.

Not only are researchers saying their new concoction will last longer, but it’s creamier and potentially even healthier than your typical frozen treat.

Keeping ice cream from melting has been a mystery that has eluded research teams from around the world for years. Just last year, Japanese scientists developed a melt-resistant ice cream using polyphenol compounds from strawberries, but never before has a compound been found to improve the creaminess and texture of low-fat ice cream as well.

Melting ice cream cone
Tired of your ice cream dripping all over your hands? Good news: scientists have created a new melt-resistant recipe. The secret? Banana plant fibers.

So Columbian researchers Dr. Robin Zuluaga Gallego and Jorge A. Velásquez Cock teamed with scientists from the University of Guelph in Canada to see what would happen when they added tiny cellulose fibers from the banana plants into an ice cream recipe.  When bananas are harvested, the remaining plant matter is disposed of as waste.  The research team used the microscopic fibers — thousands of times smaller than the width of human hair — from the banana plant stems, or rachis, to slow the melting in ice cream, as well as replace some of the fats used to make the frozen delicacy.

The study found that when mixed with the banana fibers, ice cream melted far slower than the dessert normally does. Even better, the shelf life of the product was longer and the ice cream’s creaminess and texture wasn’t worsened. Velásquez Cock believes their discovery may even lead to a lower-fat ice cream product as the fibers could potentially replace fats used in conventional products.

Healthier product aside, just being able to give ice cream lovers a product that won’t leave their hands sticky and pants stained is good enough.

“Our findings suggest that cellulose nanofibers extracted from banana waste could help improve ice cream in several ways,” explains Gallego in an American Chemical Society media release. “In particular, the fibers could lead to the development of a thicker and more palatable dessert, which would take longer to melt. As a result, this would allow for a more relaxing and enjoyable experience with the food, especially in warm weather.”

This breakthrough could mean big-time changes to a huge industry. The United States alone produced 1.3 billion gallons of ice cream in 2016, according the US Department of Agriculture. On average, each American consumes approximately 23 pounds of ice cream each year.

The research was presented last week at the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.


  1. Sounds like Scientists are discovering what Dairy Queen already learned years ago, for everyone that’s had a DQ Blizzard and didn’t eat it right away, you know it’s going to look, and taste, pretty much the same hours later. It melts a bit, but remarkably little. Learn from the Ice Cream experts, it’ll save you a lot of time and effort 🙂 .

  2. What’s wrong with the regular ice cream? You’ve got plenty of time to eat it before it melts. Even on a hot day.

  3. If it melts ever so slowly in warm weather then it is not ice cream. It’s just another bioengineered cancer producing product mimicking ice cream. Stop these experiments already and leave good food alone.

  4. Deceiving headline would lead you to believe the ice cream would remain unmelted throughout the digestive process…

    Look, mumma… frozen poopsicles!

  5. You say that as though the dairy and sugar are not poisons in and of themselves.

    Obesity kills just as easily as cancer. In fact, if obesity doesn’t kill you directly, it leads to all kinds of other health issues that will kill you eventually, including certain kinds of cancers.

    Not saying not to watch out for “chemicals”… Just saying, don’t be fooled by something just because it’s “organic” or “all natural.”

    Chances are, if it’s designed to mimic something with dairy and sugar, it’s got even worse stuff in it.

    Solution? Veggies, fruits, raw nuts, beans and farm-raised meat or hunted meat or fresh caught fish.

  6. Walmart and other large ice cream makers have already figured out how to make ice cream that doesn’t melt. It’s all fake. No thank you. Ill make my own thanks. I know exactly whats in it and no celluose or other additivesare present

  7. anybody remember from “Christmas Vacation” Clark Griswald’s Crunch Enahancer varnish for breakfast cereal?

  8. thats just great?….No….so lets get rid of all the real ice cream…although much of it is not real ice cream any way and force every one to have this tasteless cold chemical snack

  9. We already have melt proof ice cream. It’s called cheap ice cream — and it tastes like sweetened pork fat.
    I suspect the new stuff will taste like the old stuff with the texture of KY jelly thrown in. I can hardly wait. Yum, yum!

  10. I took ice cream sandwiches camping with me years ago and they didn’t melt either. Its call ‘freeze dried’. They sell them in the camping section where the ‘freeze dried’ foods are.

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  12. But that will keep us dudes from getting excited when we see a chick eat an ice cream cone and watch the cream ooze down her hand like we do now.

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