Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mythbusting: The Ice Cream That Won't Melt

This morning, a friend posted a link on Facebook regarding a woman who claimed her son left a Great Value Ice Cream Sandwich out in the hot sun for 12 hours without it melting.  She thought that was odd, so she got another one and left it out overnight and it still didn't melt.   Even the so-called reporter claims that he verified this by setting out an ice cream sandwich in the "hot sun" and it failed to melt. 

Being by nature a bit skeptical, I decided to try to replicate this experience myself.  After work, I went to the store and got a box of the same ice cream sandwiches.

For those of you interested, here is the ingredients label. 

When I got home from the store, I put the box of sandwiches in the freezer for approximately an hour, to refreeze them from my trip home.  Once they had hardened back up, I took one sandwich and set it outside.  Notice that the thermometer is showing mid 70s.

Also note that the sky was very overcast.  Yes, the reporter had a sunny day, but this is not a factor I could control.

After 5 minutes, you can clearly see the ice cream is starting to soften and melt around the corners.

And the temperature is still showing mid 70s. 

After 10 minutes, melting is clearly occurring.

After 15 minutes, even more melting has occurred.

And the temperature is holding in the low to mid 70s.  I suspect the slight drop is due to the proximity of the frozen treat.

After 20 minutes, there isn't much left.

By 25 minutes, the ice cream has almost completely melted.

And after 30 minutes, it's gone. 

Notice that the temperature has remained stable in the low 70s. 

In addition to wasting a perfectly good ice cream sandwich, I think I can conclusively say that this myth has been busted.  If my sandwich has completely melted in less than half an hour, on an overcast 70 degree day, I don't find it plausible at all that one can remain solid after 12 hours on an 80 degree day, and much less so overnight. 

My guess is it's just somebody looking for their 15 minutes of fame. 

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