The latest news in creepy food scares? Those sensibly-priced treats of summertime, Walmart ice cream sandwiches, remain in nearly pristine form even after hours in the sun (in the enclosed clip, a Sioux Falls radio host tries to remind the nation of that city’s relevance by demonstrating this non-melting reality for himself). Banning the possibility that the big box CEOs conjured a hex on the frozen desserts, consumers are left to assume they must be chock-full of insidious chemicals.
But according to Geek.com, this time we can rest easy. There are indeed additives in the sandwiches to forestall melting, but they’re benign and mostly natural.
The No-Melt Compounds of Your Dreams
The magic anti-melt components here are guar gum (extracted from guar beans—legumes which all kinds of useful purposes), calcium sulfate (a common lab product used in foods like cheese and tofu) and cellulose gum (another plant derivative used often). These ingredients make the ice cream in the sandwiches creamier and thicker than ice cream you get out of a carton—which in turn makes the treats easier to make and eat.
The geeksters conclude, “There are no scary chemicals at work here and no secret preservatives that will give you cancer. Walmart’s ice cream sandwiches make use of very simple, common food science and chemistry to keep your hands from getting sticky. That’s it.”
And who wants little kids running around with fingers stickier than usual? So these ice cream sandwiches may not be super healthy, but don’t blame the additives.