Of course: Walmart. From HuffPo:
The discovery was made by a local mom, Christie Watson, who noticed that a Great Value ice cream sandwich her son left out on their patio table hadn’t fully melted — even though it had been sitting out for 12 hours on an 80-degree day. Watson left a second ice cream sandwich out overnight with the same results, WCPO reports.
“What am I feeding to my children?” she asked, appalled.
“Ice cream melts based on the ingredients, including cream,” Walmart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt said in an email. “Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches.”
So, methinks they’ve got the science wrong on that. Cream contains water – in fact, the thing that separates cream from butter is the amount of water in it. That being said, anything with cream should actually melt faster, because the only reason cream is a solid instead of a liquid in the first place is because of the lowered temperature. Remove the temperature, and the cream should go back to it’s regular creamy state.
In other words, no, cream should not “melt slower.” The only reason an ice cream sandwich would fail to melt would be if it had an extensive amount of thickeners in it.
And, as Business Insider apparently pointed out, this was exactly the case:
According to Wal-Mart’s website, the ice cream sandwiches contain milk, cream, buttermilk, sugar, whey, and corn syrup.
It also contains “1 percent or less of mono-and diglycerides, vanilla extract, guar gum, calcium sulfate, carob bean gum, cellulose gum, carrageenan, artificial flavor, and annatto for color.”
Guar gum, carob bean gum, cellulose gum, carrageenan, calcium sulfate, and diglycerides are all coagulants – thickeners – and emulsifiers, and are apparently strong enough to hold the shape of the sandwich regardless of the temperature, percentage be damned.
In the WCPO video, the news station reports Walmart’s response as:
Ice cream melts based on how much butterfat and cream are in it. Our sandwiches contain less, and are more affordable. But they are healthy and meet all FDA guidelines.”
Weirdly enough, the reporter goes out of his way to state how there’s “nothing wrong” with the sandwiches, as if he’s concerned about
pissing off his station’s sponsors appearing biased.
The station laid out a Klondike bar – with an ingredient list similar to the Great Value Brand bars – as well as a GV bar and a tub of Haagen Daas ice cream. Unsurprisingly, the Haagen Daas melted fastest.
The thing I want to point out, though, is how the second quoted Walmart response passively makes a point about food supply: by saying “Our sandwiches contain cream, and are more affordable,” they’re basically saying that they can’t sell ‘affordable’ ice cream without loading it up with thickeners. Their schtick is the same as any processed food manufacturer: water down the real stuff, load it up with additives so that the texture is stilll similar, sell it as overpriced. Even the newscaster says it – you can get 12 ice cream bars for cheaper than a tiny tub of Haagen Daas, as if that’s supposed to justify everything.
As much as I hate to say this because I’m fully aware of the implications, but if cheap ice cream treats mean getting ice cream that doesn’t melt… maybe ice cream shouldn’t be that cheap, anyway?