Things that make you go hmmm: a young boy leaves his Walmart Great Value Ice Cream Sandwich outside on an eighty-degree day and forgets about it.
His mother finds it twelve hours later and it hasn’t melted.
She finds that odd and performs a controlled experiment with another ice cream sandwich–with the same result.
She then calls the local radio station and the buzz begins.
An Experiment That can be Easily Replicated
People at the radio station are skeptical. They do their own experiment using two other brands of ice cream sandwich. The ice cream in the two control sandwiches melted but the Walmart white stuff stayed pristine.
A man in South Dakota got wind of this and performed his own controlled experiment with the same result: after thirty-five minutes, a scoop of real ice cream that he put on a plate was nothing but a puddle and the “ice cream” sandwich looked like he had just put it down. Checking again at the sixty-minute mark, the sandwich innards had finally started to weep.
Are The Ingredients to Blame?
Walmart, when contacted by the Washington Post, gave this statement:
“Great Value ice cream sandwiches melt. Ice cream melts based on the ingredients including cream. Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches.
“In the frozen aisles, Great Value ice cream sandwiches are one of the top sellers, and we are glad to be able to offer a great treat that families love.”
So the reason the ice cream in the sandwich didn’t melt is because of its high cream content. Sure. Or maybe it’s because of the guar gum, cellulose (wood fiber), polydextrose (synthetic fiber), maltodextrin, and calcium sulfate. Another hmmm: “cream” isn’t even listed as an ingredient in the Walmart Great Value Ice Cream Sandwich.
Fat Free Milk, Sorbitol, Polydextrose, Maltodextrin, Whey Protein Concentrate, Contains 1% Or Less of Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Mono-And Diglycerides*, Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Polysorbate 80, Vanilla Extract, Vanillin, Sucralose, Calcium Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate. Wafers: Bleached Wheat Flour, Isomalt, Sorbitol, Caramel Color, Palm Oil, Cocoa, Corn Flour, Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Sucralose. *Adds A Dietarily Insignificant Amount of Fat.
Breaking It Down
While we’re in there, let’s take a look at the other ingredients in the now-infamous frozen treat.
There are mono- and diglycerides, which are emulsifiers to keep the water and fat contents from separating. These may result in trans fat after processing–the Food and Drug Administration, however, doesn’t require an emulsifier to list its products, only fats.
In contrast, here are the nutrition facts and ingredients list of a comparable product–a dairy-free, low sugar, non-GMO almond milk frozen sandwich (bet this would melt if you left it outside on a hot day):
Serving Size 1 Sandwich (38g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.5g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 70mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
ALMOND MILK (WATER, ALMONDS), ORGANIC TAPIOCA SYRUP, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT, DRIED CANE SYRUP, VANILLA EXTRACT, ERYTHRITOL, PEA PROTEIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, CAROB BEAN GUM, GUAR GUM, MONK FRUIT], WAFER (WHEAT FLOUR, DRIED CANE SYRUP, PALM OIL, BROWN RICE SYRUP, CARAMEL COLOR, BAKING SODA, COCOA, CANOLA LECITHIN, SALT, NATURAL VANILLA FLAVOR).
By the way, erythritol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol derived from corn. It is often the product of genetic engineering which usually arouses suspicion but in this case, the product is certified non-GMO.
This frozen novelty isn’t the best thing you could eat but compared to the gummy, woody, chemically fake Walmart treat, it’s miles above with fewer calories, less sodium, and fewer total carbohydrates.
The phenomenon of non-melting ice cream is reminiscent of the non-melting snow that fell in North America last winter. No one seems to have set a match to the ice cream so we don’t know if it’s the same stuff. In any case, there are two substances and official stories you shouldn’t swallow.
-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10227745
-  http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/chemically-nucleated-snow-what-is-it/