McGill students invent 'unfrozen' ice cream
Jordan Chittley, CTVNews.ca
Published Thursday, July 10, 2014 6:12PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 10, 2014 6:42PM EDT
Looking for a cool treat on a hot summer day? Soon you may not have to open the freezer door, you’ll just have to look on your pantry shelf.
That’s because a team of McGill students have invented ice cream that can be stored at room temperature. The team of 16 people from the Food and Science program developed what they are calling Frisson, which means “shiver” in French.
“We tried to come up with a vegan sorbet that had a really nice texture and we came up with a new stabilizer,” team member Jonathan Khouzam told CTV Montreal. “Once we saw that we were on to something that was actually delicious…it was a really exciting time.”
The product isn’t available yet, but if it hits grocery stores, it won’t be stored in the frozen section. Frisson also won’t melt if you take too long to get home from the grocery store nor will it take up precious space in your freezer.
Here’s how Frisson works: Open the lid to let some air in, give it a shake and put it in the freezer. In a couple of hours Frisson is ready to eat. When the seal is broken, nitrous oxide stored inside the packaging will activate and as it freezes tiny bubbles form in the mixture to create the texture.
“We’ve used a complex combination of different ingredients in our product, so that when you freeze it, it will not just become a block of ice,” team leader Karine Paradis told the McGill Reporter. “It has the smooth texture that you want when you eat ice cream.”
And for those health-conscious consumers, Frisson is healthier than most ice creams. The treat that comes in hibiscus and ginger or almond and pistachio is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, contains zero cholesterol and is high in fibre.
“We wanted to target people who can’t have those treats because they have intolerance,” Paradis told CTV Montreal. “It’s perfect for people who can’t eat dairy.”
The invention began as a project for an undergraduate course last Fall and went on to finish third in the Institute of Food technologists Students’ Association annual Food Product Development Competition a few weeks ago in New Orleans. It’s the first time in more than 25 years that a Canadian team has been selected to participate.
“We felt like we got the respect of the other universities, they were scared of us when they saw the product,” Paradis told CTV Montreal.
The strong showing doesn’t come with any guarantees Frisson will make it to market, but Paradis is optimistic.
“Frisson should be very interesting for some of the major players in the market because we have a frozen product that doesn’t need any refrigeration equipment – which is where the vast majority of energy is expanded by companies making frozen foods,” she told the Reporter.