Now Watch Me Drip Drip: The Science Of Slower Melting Ice Cream I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! But what's up with all the melting on hot summer days? Join Mindy and Guy Raz as they scour the globe in search of a special new ingredient, that's said to prevent ice cream from turning into a sticky situation! It's the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World of slower melting ice cream! Originally aired July 30th, 2018.

Now Watch Me Drip Drip: The Science Of Slower Melting Ice Cream

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Stay seated. Three, two, one, ignition.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Get ready for an adventure of magnificent proportion.

THE POP UPS: (Singing) I don't know what you've been told, but we're in a golden age - so many discoveries that are jumping off the page. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: With Guy and Mindy.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: We're on our way, Houston.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHILDREN SCREAMING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

What in the...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: Mindy?

MINDY THOMAS, HOST:

Hey, Guy Raz. Check out my sweet new ride.

RAZ: Mindy, where did you get an ice cream truck?

THOMAS: Oh, hang on sec, Guy Raz. I'll be right there.

RAZ: Her truck is called a Midsummer Night's Cream?

THOMAS: You just got served. Soft-served.

RAZ: Mindy, when did you get in the business of selling ice cream?

THOMAS: I don't know. About an hour ago. See, Guy Raz, a wise old owl once told me that the secret to life is to find what you love doing the most and to get paid for it. So with that, I had to throw starting a podcast out the window and do the thing I love second-most - ice cream.

RAZ: OK. First of all, that wise old owl was me. And second of all, it looks like you've got your profits dripping all over your face.

THOMAS: Well, as a responsible business boss lady, I had to test out my product before opening it up to the public.

RAZ: Well, let me clean that off for you. Here, I've got a handkerchief in my pocket.

THOMAS: No. No, not the spitty (ph) handkerchief.

RAZ: Now let me see your face. Right. OK. Almost. All right. OK. All right. Almost there. There. All cleaned up.

THOMAS: That was disgusting, Guy Raz.

RAZ: That's the problem with ice cream, Mindy.

THOMAS: You found a problem with ice cream?

RAZ: Well, as delicious as ice cream can be, these warm temperatures can melt it faster than we can eat it.

THOMAS: Ah, yes. The old creamy, creamy, melty, melty conundrum.

RAZ: The what?

THOMAS: But boy howdy, do I have some good news for you, Guy Raz, because there's some new science that says that that's all about to change.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: And soon, our sticky-finger-licking days will be gone for good.

RAZ: What do you mean?

THOMAS: I'm talking about a newly discovered recipe for melt-resistant ice cream.

RAZ: Ice cream that will melt in your mouth but not in your hands?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, this could be the biggest scientific breakthrough of the 21st century.

RAZ: Well, that might be a bit overstating things. I mean, there was the discovery of stem cells to grow human organs and the discovery of water on Mars and...

THOMAS: Back to melt-resistant ice cream.

RAZ: Oh, right. So what's the scoop?

THOMAS: The scoop. The scoop is that these Colombian researchers got together with these scientists from the University of Guelph in Canada and found a secret ingredient that would make ice cream nearly unmeltable or a least melt in slow motion.

RAZ: What's the secret ingredient, Mindy?

THOMAS: Well, if I told you, then it wouldn't be a secret, then, would it?

RAZ: Since when are you able to keep a secret?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, I am not going to tell you what the secret ingredient is.

RAZ: (Groaning).

THOMAS: I'm going to show you what the secret ingredient is.

RAZ: Well, what's the difference?

THOMAS: Hop in the Midsummer Night's Cream truck, Guy Raz. Just watch out for the sprinkle party down there on the floor. I had a little accident.

RAZ: Are you sure this thing is safe to ride in, Mindy?

THOMAS: Yes, of course I'm not sure it's safe to ride in, Guy Raz. Now go ahead and strap yourself into that vat of cookies and cream over there.

RAZ: There are no seats in this ice cream truck?

THOMAS: And I thought this truck was high maintenance.

RAZ: My buns are freezer burning. My buns are freezer burning.

THOMAS: Oh, wait. There's a seat that someone left on the curb over there. Hold tight, little buddy. I'll hop out and grab it for you.

RAZ: But, Mindy, that's a...

THOMAS: Don't go anywhere. I'll be right back. Run, run, run, run, run, run. Hey, guys. Just saw this chair sitting right here. Do you mind if I take it? Ow. Did you just punch me?

(SOUNDBITE OF FIGHTING)

THOMAS: Pleasure doing business with you guys. Thank you very much. Maybe I'll run into you again some time. Run, run. Oh, man. Sorry. I had to fight off a pack of wild squirrels for it.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: But it's still mostly in one piece. Squirrels got the sippy cup holder.

RAZ: Mindy, that's a child's car seat.

THOMAS: Now we're just going to squeeze you in. Stop wiggling. Stay still, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Too tight. Too tight.

THOMAS: There. Now you're not going anywhere for the rest of your life.

RAZ: We better not be going too far.

THOMAS: Nah, just a quick drive to South America.

RAZ: South America? Mindy, what does this have to do with melting ice cream?

THOMAS: Nothing.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: But it has everything to do with ice cream not melting. So you ready to go find the secret?

RAZ: (Groaning) Start up the engine, Mindy.

THOMAS: Yes.

RAZ: Anything for science.

THOMAS: Anything for science, Guy Raz. Now hand me that wire coat hanger over there, so I can start this baby up.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Shove that in there. And - huh. Try this again. I wonder what's...

(SOUNDBITE OF CAR STARTING)

GUY RAZ AND MINDY THOMAS: (Screaming).

(SOUNDBITE OF WHOOSH)

RAZ: Are we there yet?

THOMAS: Nope. Still got a ways to go.

RAZ: Are we there yet?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, you'll know when we get there because we'll be there.

RAZ: OK. Are we there yet?

THOMAS: (Yelling) Guy Raz.

RAZ: What? Are we there yet?

THOMAS: No. We've hit a little snag in our travel plans.

RAZ: A snag?

THOMAS: Well, we've made it all the way to Panama. So that's the good news.

RAZ: And what's the bad news?

THOMAS: Well, we ran out of highway.

RAZ: We ran out of what?

THOMAS: This Pan-American Highway in Central America. We've reached the end. And now we've hit the Darien Gap that connects us to South America.

RAZ: Wait. I've heard of the Darien Gap, Mindy. We're almost there. We're almost to Colombia.

THOMAS: Not so fast, Guy Raz. The Darien Gap is a major swath of roadless jungle and swampland that sits right between us here in Panama and our destination in Colombia, South America.

RAZ: No roads, huh?

THOMAS: Nope.

RAZ: And you said jungle and swampland?

THOMAS: Yup.

RAZ: So I guess we only have one choice left. And that's to turn around.

THOMAS: ...Turn this ice cream truck into hyper drive.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Put this ice cream bucket on your head, Guy Raz, and hold on for your life.

RAZ: You want me to...

THOMAS: Yes.

RAZ: Mindy, what does any of this have to do with the secret ingredient to melt-resistant ice cream?

THOMAS: Brace yourself, Guy Raz. This is going to be a rocky road.

(Screaming). Oh, sorry. Sorry. I can fix that.

That was crazy.

RAZ: When did you learn to drive like that, Mindy?

THOMAS: Grandma G-Force taught me how to drive monster trucks before I could even crawl.

RAZ: Of course she did.

THOMAS: OK, Guy Raz, you ready to explore the new science of ice cream that will melt in your mouth, not in your hand?

RAZ: You know, I almost forgot why we were even on this wild adventure.

THOMAS: OK. First things first, take a look over there.

RAZ: Where?

THOMAS: Over there.

RAZ: Well, all I see are a bunch of people harvesting bananas.

THOMAS: Yeah, that's it. Now we're going sneak over there, and you're going to distract them while I grab all of their banana waste.

RAZ: I'm not sure I follow.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, look at me. Look me in the eye.

RAZ: OK.

THOMAS: Now, you're just going to have to trust me when I tell you that this next part is going to be very, very important to our mission. OK. You ready?

RAZ: No.

THOMAS: Now just tiptoe behind me. When we get close, you do something to distract them, and I'll sweep in and snatch the goods, OK?

RAZ: Well, if it's trash, couldn't we just walk up and ask for it?

THOMAS: Why would we want to do that, Guy Raz? Come on. Let's go.

RAZ AND THOMAS: Creep, creep, creep, creep.

THOMAS: Quick, now distract them, so they don't notice me.

RAZ: OK. (Singing) I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, and here is my...

THOMAS: Got it. Come on, Guy Raz, let's get out of here.

RAZ: But I wasn't finished with my song. (Singing) I'm a little teapot, short and...

THOMAS: Run, run, run, run, run...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Hey, she took our garbage.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) So?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Oh, yeah.

RAZ: So long. Hey, Mindy, wait up. What are you running for? You're practically doing their job for them.

THOMAS: What? Guy Raz, get in the ice cream truck before they catch us.

RAZ: Mindy, we're running off with their garbage. Trust me - no one's trying to catch us.

THOMAS: Did you just say garbage? You call all of this garbage?

RAZ: Well, you've got bushels of inedible banana stalks. So yeah, pretty sure that's the definition of garbage.

THOMAS: Well, then what if I told you that these bushels of banana stalk garbage held the secret ingredient to melt-resistant ice cream, huh?

RAZ: Go on.

THOMAS: Well, as you can see here, bananas grow on plants in places like Colombia, South America and not in our neighborhood grocery store.

RAZ: Please tell me that's not the secret.

THOMAS: And they grow in bunches on these tree-like perennial herbs.

RAZ: Yeah. Looking at these banana plants, I can see that they look sort of like trees. Hey, look. Some of them are almost 30 feet tall. And they have pretty sturdy stems, but they're not woody like an actual tree. So what about their trunks?

THOMAS: Well, those aren't actually trunks at all.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: They're pseudostems, which means that they're made up of leaves packed really, really tightly together.

RAZ: And because they're packed so tightly together, that's what makes those stems hard.

THOMAS: Yeah.

RAZ: And you mentioned that they're perennial herbs?

THOMAS: Yeah, so perennial is just a fancy-pants way of saying a plant that lives for more than two years.

RAZ: And an herb is any plant that makes seeds and doesn't have a woody stem and also dies down to the ground after flowering.

THOMAS: But a perennial herb will come back to life year after year after year.

RAZ: Like these banana plants.

THOMAS: Yep - or lilies or orchids. They're perennial herbs too.

RAZ: So what about all of this banana plant waste that you just snatched away from the harvesters? It looks like they were throwing it away after plucking the banana bunches from it.

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. Here. This stalk is called a rachis. And once harvesters pick the banana bunches, they just get rid of it.

RAZ: But...

THOMAS: Oh, this is a big but.

RAZ: Mindy.

THOMAS: But these researchers had a hunch that maybe - just maybe - there was more to these banana rachis than just garbage.

RAZ: So what did they do?

THOMAS: Well, they started to extract - or suck out of - these rachis these teeny, tiny microfibers or threads - threads that have no smell or taste and are thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair.

RAZ: Do these tiny fibers or threads have a name?

THOMAS: Yeah, but it's a mouthful.

RAZ: OK. Well, try me.

THOMAS: They're called cellulose nanofibrils - or CNFs for short.

RAZ: Huh. Cellulose nanofibrils - has a nice ring to it. So when they got these fibers out of the plant, what did they do with them?

THOMAS: Well, sprinkled them on their ice cream. OK. So maybe it was a little more complicated than that because, you know, scientists.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Anywho, they added teeny, tiny CNF fibers in different amounts to scoops of ice cream mix.

RAZ: And what did they find?

THOMAS: They found that with just the right amount of CNF fibers mixed in that the ice cream lasted longer than the ice cream we're used to eating.

RAZ: And by lasting longer, you mean...

THOMAS: I mean that it lasted longer in the freezer without going bad, longer in the store and longer in these researchers' hands because it wasn't melting like crazy.

RAZ: The secret to melt-resistant ice cream.

THOMAS: And that's not all.

RAZ: There's more?

THOMAS: They also discovered that these CNF fibers from the banana plants helped low-fat ice cream have a creamier texture, meaning that low-fat ice cream can now be as delicious as regular ice cream.

RAZ: Healthier ice cream. Now you're speaking my language, Mindy. So what's next?

THOMAS: Well, the next step is to be the first to get this melt-resistant ice cream onto freezer shelves and into grocery stores all over the world.

RAZ: Wait. Did you say the first?

THOMAS: Yeah, the competition is starting to heat up. And that could melt some scientists' dreams.

RAZ: What do you mean?

THOMAS: Well, just last year, these Japanese scientists accidentally stumbled upon a discovery that a certain chemical found in strawberries could also help keep ice cream from melting for hours.

RAZ: You know, now that I think about it, I faintly remember reading a study out of Scotland last year where scientists found a protein that could help keep ice cream from melting on a hot day as well.

THOMAS: Yeah, but you know what I always say...

RAZ: Bonkerballs?

THOMAS: No, I always say, why wait for science when you can just do it yourself?

RAZ: Oh, no.

THOMAS: What could possibly go wrong? Guy Raz, hand me those banana stalks and a straw.

RAZ: A what?

THOMAS: I'm going to suck the rachis out of the stalk and add it to my own recipe and then make us some melt-resistant ice cream right now.

RAZ: I'm pretty sure that's not how it works, Mindy.

THOMAS: Here goes nothing.

RAZ: Oh, boy.

THOMAS: (Sucking) Do these look like tiny fibers to you? Close enough. Spitting them into the ice cream (spitting).

RAZ: Mindy, that doesn't...

THOMAS: Mixing it up. Guy Raz, waffle cone, sugar cone or parking cone?

RAZ: Parking cone?

THOMAS: Pine cone it is.

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: Ice cream keeps falling off. There. OK. Here you go, Guy Raz. I call this flavor bananaconda (ph).

RAZ: Huh?

THOMAS: Now step outside the ice cream truck and see if it doesn't melt all over your hands.

RAZ: Anything for science. Anything for science. Anything for science.

THOMAS: Any updates? What's happening? Is it melting?

RAZ: Well, Mindy, it appears that your experiment has left me covered in ice cream soup.

THOMAS: Man, wonder where I went wrong.

RAZ: Well, it all started when you rolled up in this falling-apart ice cream truck and then drove me through swampy jungles to South America and then...

THOMAS: Speaking of which, we should probably head back. I'm losing business down here. This place is bananas.

RAZ: Well, let me at least get back into the truck before you take off.

(SOUNDBITE OF ENGINE TURNING OVER)

THOMAS: Uh-oh.

RAZ: Wait. Wait. The truck won't start? What are we going to do?

THOMAS: Well, I'm afraid there's only one thing we can do, Guy Raz.

RAZ AND THOMAS: (Yelling) Reggie.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: WOW IN THE WORLD will be right back. Grown-ups, this message is for you.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: That's it. Back to the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE DIALING)

THOMAS: Hi. Thanks for calling WOW IN THE WORLD. After the beep, get ready to record.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

AURORA AND SAGE: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz.

AURORA: My name's Aurora (ph).

SAGE: And my name is Sage (ph).

AURORA AND SAGE: We're from Truckee, Calif.

AURORA: My wow in the world is that every average person makes five pounds of trash a day.

SAGE: And my wow in the world is that America uses enough straws to wrap around the world twice.

AURORA AND SAGE: Bye, Mindy and Guy Raz. We love your show.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

ELEANOR: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Eleanor (ph), and I live in Denver, Colo. My wow in the world is that cobra snakes have flaps of skin on their necks that shoot out when they are scared. And they have, like, a design like a face on them that could scare other animals away. Bye, Mindy and Guy Raz. I love your show. So hi to Reggie for me.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

CONNOR: Hi, Guy Raz and Mindy. My name is Connor (ph). And my wow is that basilisk lizards can run on water without sinking. Does Reggie play video games? Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

MAX: Hello, my name is Max (ph), and I'm from College Station, Texas. And my wow is that fire salamanders are poisonous. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

THOMAS: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Violet (ph), and I live in Austria. My wow in the world is that strawberries are not really berries, but watermelon, pumpkins, bananas and avocados are. I love your show. Say hi to Reggie, Dennis and Grandma G-Force for me.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Grandma G-Force) Booyah (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As Dennis) Ahoy there.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

GRACE: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Grace (ph), and live in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. My wow in the world is that most adult manatees weigh about 1,000 pounds - that's the weight of about 21 second-graders. I love your show, and I love you, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD COOING)

HUNTER: Hi, Guy Raz and Mindy and Dennis and all the kids who like listening to WOW IN THE WORLD who love science like I do. My name is Hunter (ph). I live in Brisbane, Australia. My wow is that wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, is an Australian invention. Bye, I love your science, and I really, really love your show.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: End of messages.

THOMAS: Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for hanging out with us this week on WOW IN THE WORLD.

RAZ: And to keep the wow rolling, check out this week's scientific conversation starters at our website, wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And grown-ups, there you can find more info on how your kids can become members of the World Organization of Wowzers, shop our WOW shop, upload photos and videos to us and check dates for our upcoming live events. That's wowintheworld.com.

RAZ: Our show is produced by Jed Anderson...

THOMAS: ...Who provides the bells, whistles and silly characters. Say hello, Jed.

JED ANDERSON, BYLINE: Yello (ph).

THOMAS: Our show is written by me, Guy Raz and Thomas van Kalken, who also provides silly characters. Tom?

THOMAS VAN KALKEN, BYLINE: Hello there.

RAZ: Thanks also to Jessica Boddy, Casey Koeffer (ph), Rebecca Caban, Kit Ballenger (ph) and Alex Curley. Meredith Halpern-Ranzer powers the wow at Tinkercast.

THOMAS: Our theme song was composed and performed by The Pop Ups. For more info on their two-time-Grammy-nominated, all-ages music, find them at thepopups.com.

RAZ: And grown-ups, you can follow WOW IN THE WORLD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @wowintheworld, and our email address is hello@wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And if you're a kid with a big wow to share with us, call us at 1-888-7-WOW-WOW for a chance to be featured at the end of the show.

RAZ: Also, if you haven't already done so, please subscribe to WOW IN THE WORLD on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

THOMAS: Yeah, leave us a few stars, a review or just tell a friend about the show.

RAZ: Thanks again for listening, and until next time...

RAZ AND THOMAS: Keep on wowing.

THOMAS: Jinx.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #3: WOW IN THE WORLD was made by Tinkercast and sent to you by NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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