PORTLAND, Ore. - An Ohio mother was shocked to learn an ice cream sandwich her son had left outside in hot temperatures hadn't melted twelve hours later. The woman explained to a Cincinnati TV station that she assumed chemicals in the Walmart brand ice cream sandwich prevented it from melting completely.
KATU News decided to see what would happen to the same kind of ice cream in near-90 degree temperatures.
We bought four different kinds of ice cream sandwiches; a traditional Klondike ice cream sandwich, a Blue Bunny one, and two types of Great Value sandwiches, the brand sold at Walmart. One was the traditional sandwich and the other had less sugar and fat. We also included an ice cream bar from Haagen-Dazs. All ice cream products were laid out in direct sunlight for about 45 minutes.
The results surprised some folks at a local park.
"They've been sitting there for a while and they're not melting," said Susan Detlefsen.
There's nothing to keep the ice cream cold but it's true that most didn't melt in the traditional sense.
"It's supposed to be liquid," said Detlefsen. "Milk is eventually liquid.
Only the Haagen-Dazs ice cream bar melted down into liquid form. That's likely because it has the fewest ingredients and is considered all natural. The other brands contained food stabilizers like guar gum and cellulose gum. As they melted they tended to look more like melted marshmallow, retaining some of its original rectangular shape.
Walmart also sent a statement to WCPO in Cincinnati:
"Ice cream melts based on the ingredients including cream. Ice cream with more cream (sic) will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches."