Walmart Ice Cream Sandwiches don't melt.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Science!
Here are the ingredients, from walmart's site:
Ice Cream (Milk, Cream, Buttermilk, Sugar, Whey, Corn Syrup, Contains 1% Or Less of Mono-And Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Carob Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Vanilla Extract, Artificial Flavor, Annatto For Color). Wafer (Wheat Flour, Sugar, Soybean And Palm Oil, Cocoa, Dextrose, Caramel Color, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Flour, Food Starch- Modified, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Chocolate Flavor).
And the 97% Fat-Free version:
Fat Free Ice Cream: Fat Free Milk, Sorbitol, Polydextrose, Maltodextrin, Whey Protein Concentrate, Contains 1% Or Less of Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Mono-And Diglycerides*, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Polysorbate 80, Vanilla Extract, Vanillin, Sucralose, Calcium Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate. Wafers: Bleached Wheat Flour, Isomalt, Sorbitol, Caramel Color, Palm Oil, Cocoa, Corn Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Sucralose. *Adds A Dietarily Insignificant Amount of Fat.
Edit: Apparently Wal-Mart has commented on this.. from this article:
"Ice cream melts based on the ingredients including cream," said a Walmart representative. "Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches."
It is largely the guar gum and calcium sulfate that are holding it together. Neither of which are anything to be concerned about. Guar gum (a sugar extracted from beans), thickens in water much better than corn starch, is an emulsifier, and has properties that stabilize freeze/thaw cycles. It's often added to similar foods for this reason. Calcium sulfate, a common source of calcium, is great at trapping moisture, and when used in conjunction with guar gum, greatly enhances the gum's ability to thicken and stabilize. This is actually really good chemistry at work here, and nothing to be grossed out about. The chemiphobic bull is definitely uncalled for here.
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