Believe it or not, that day has arrived. A team of 16 Canadian students from the Food and Science program at McGill developed what they are calling Frisson – an ice cream that can be stored at room temperature. Frisson is a french word which means Shiver.
For Frisson to work, one has to open the packaging, give it a slight shake and put it in the freezer. A couple of hours later Frisson is ready to eat. What happens is, when the seal of the packaging is broken, nitrous oxide present in the packaging activates and as it freezes tiny bubbles form in the mixture to create the texture. Frisson was developed in various stages starting with just the basic formula, then testing and tweaking the recipe and finally achieving the right taste, color and texture. The process itself was a long winding task that involved over 500 people tasting samples and answering questionnaires. The final product comes in two flavours – hibiscus and ginger or almond and pistachio.
Oddly enough, there is no wizardry behind the frozen dessert’s remarkable transformation properties, just good, old-fashioned science. In it’s original liquid form, the product remains stable as long as the seal is not broken. And while people may worry about the chemical content of a product that can be stored safely on a shelf for months at a time, the truth is McGill’s shelf-stable frozen dessert is healthier than most ice creams.
The next time you’re looking for a cool treat on a hot summer day, you may find it on your pantry shelf instead of your freezer.