Subjects: Behavioral health
People thought Columbus was nuts when he set off to find a shorter route to China, so let’s try not to snicker at the scientists who’ve announced plans to develop healthy ice cream.
Ingolf Gruen, a professor of food chemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia, proposes to add fiber, antioxidants and probiotics to the real thing.
Gruen and his fellow ice cream professors chose these additives because they are known to contribute to good health and because consumers are familiar with them.
The Ice Cream Professor doesn’t anticipate that his concoction can match the seductive flavor or texture of the real stuff, however.
What he’s after instead is consumers saying, “Oh it’s not as good as the full-fat heavy ice cream, but because it is good for me, and it still tastes good, I will purchase it,” Gruen explained.
“Our major challenges are texture, flavor and psychological acceptance,” Gruen continued.
“The nutrients we add often have bitter tastes and affect the texture of ice cream that we have to mask.”
Luckily for some ice cream fans, “flavors like chocolate are easier to work with because the flavor is so strong that it can overcome other flavors from the nutrients,” Gruen added.
The Ice Cream Professor has decided to include enough fiber to account for 10-15% of the recommended daily allowance, despite the gritty texture it will impart. “We want to make sure if you consume it there is a significant contribution to health benefits from these ingredients,” Gruen reasoned.
Gruen plans to have a prototype ready by spring. We know some denizens of Murray Hill that would be willing to give it a try.