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Okra Used to Preserve Ice Cream

Update Date: Aug 22, 2014 09:29 PM EDT

Okra could save ice cream from going bad, according to a new study.

While the vegetable is mainly used in soups and stews, new research reveals that it's extracts could increase the shelf life of ice cream.

Scientists explain that the quality of ice cream is heavily dependent on the size of ice crystals. Ice cream becomes courser in texture when it melts and refreezes during distribution and storage. This is because ice crystals expand and make the ice cream less smooth and palatable.

Researchers note that stabilizers are used to help keep the ice cream's smooth consistency, stall melting, enhance handling properties and make it last longer.

The latest study revealed that water extracts of okra fiber can used to preserve ice cream quality during storage. Researchers said the latest findings suggest that these naturally extracted stabilizers offer a different food ingredient for ice cream and other food industries.

The findings are published in the Journal of Food Science.

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