Here’s a low-carbon idea that I’ll bet you haven’t thought of yet: room temperature ice cream.
That’s right: ice cream that could be manufactured, transported, and sold without the need for freezing.
Can you imagine how much energy could be saved if consumers could buy ice cream at room temperature and then freeze it for themselves at home?
Unilever, the world’s largest producer of ice cream and owner of the Ben & Jerry’s brand, is hoping to develop just that sort of product, according to a report at TimesOnline.
Ice cream is one of Unilever’s most energy-intensive products because it needs to be kept frozen during production, transport, and storage. The company has already improved the energy efficiency of its ice cream factories and updated 400,000 refrigerated cabinets that it supplies to retailers. But, obviously, developing a new kind of ambient temperature ice cream product would reduce GHG emissions most of all.
Of course, researchers at Unilever will have to overcome a number of fundamental manufacturing challenges. For instance, “The key question which has yet to be fully answered is: how do you ensure that, when the ambient ice cream is frozen at home it will have the right microstructure to produce a fantastic consumer experience?” a company spokesman said.
To read more about Unilever’s sustainability efforts visit http://unilever.com/sustainability/