A new study has found, extracts of the humble okra (lady's finger)
can help your ice cream last longer by acting as a stabiliser in the sweet
While okra has been widely used as a vegetable for soups and
stews, its extracts can be used as a stabiliser in ice cream, reveals the study
by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in Chicago.
Ice cream quality is highly reliant on the size of ice crystals.
As ice cream melts and refreezes during distribution and storage, the ice
crystals grow in size causing ice cream to become courser in texture which
limits shelf life.
Stabilisers are used to maintain a smooth consistency, hinder
melting, improve the handling properties and make ice cream last longer.
The study discovered that water extracts of okra fibre can be
prepared and used to maintain ice cream quality during storage. Researchers
said that these naturally extracted stabilisers offer an alternative food
ingredient for the ice cream industry as well as for other food products.
The study was published in the Journal of Food