Scottish scientists have developed a new ingredient that could prevent ice cream melting in hot weather.
A naturally occurring protein can be used to create ice cream which stays frozen for longer in hot weather.
The scientists estimate that the slow-melting product could become available in three to five years.
Teams at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee have discovered that the protein, known as BsIA, works by binding together the air, fat and water in ice cream.
It is also said to prevent gritty ice crystals from forming – ensuring a fine, smooth texture.
The team developed a method of producing the protein – which occurs naturally in some foods as a friendly bacteria.
The researchers also had the prospect of reducing the sugar content and could be used in other foods such as chocolate mousse and mayonnaise to help reduce the calories.
They believe using the ingredient could benefit manufacturers too as it can be processed without impacting on performance and can be produced from sustainable raw materials.