A newer, slower melting ice cream cone is coming soon

The World
Children eat ice cream that's melting fast at the annual horse fair Appleby-in-Westmorland, Britain.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are out to fix one of the most vexing problems in the world: The melting ice cream cone.

“We’re not talking about ice cream that doesn’t melt at all, we’re talking about ice cream that melts more slowly than you would typically expect from a scoop of ice cream sitting on top of an ice cream cone for example,” says Kate MacPhee, a professor of biological physics in the Institute of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems at the University of Edinburgh.

MacPhee’s latest research involves ice cream, in particular, a naturally-occurring protein known as BsIA that works by binding together the air, fat and water in ice cream. The result is ice cream that stays frozen for longer.

“It’s not [a protein] that can cause you any harm, and that protein stabilizes the ice cream and slows down the melting process,” she says.

Will you keep The World spinning?

Donations from listeners like you are absolutely crucial in funding the great music and human-centered global news you hear on The World. Recurring gifts provide predictable, sustainable support — letting our team focus on telling the stories you don’t hear anywhere else. If you make a gift of $100 or pledge $10/month we’ll send you a curated playlist highlighting some of the team's favorite music from the show Donate today to keep The World spinning.