Why Won't Walmart's Great Value Ice Cream Sandwiches Melt?

Dawn Papple

After news broke that Walmart's Great Value ice cream sandwiches don't seem to melt, the public is asking, "Why?" According to WCPO, mother Christie Watson was stunned one morning when she found an uneaten ice cream sandwich on her patio table. It was a warm 80-degree summer morning. Watson said, "I noticed that my son had left his ice cream sandwich outside, and I was wondering 'why is there still ice cream in there?'"

Christie Watson's child had left a Walmart Great Value ice cream sandwich outside on a hot morning and it appeared as though it didn't melt. It barely looked melted at all after 12 hours.

She looked at the box and says it said that it contained ice cream, not artificial ice cream, so she tested it over night. She said, "Monday, I came out and looked at it and there was still ice cream there. So I thought to myself: what am I feeding to my children?"

The Haagen Daz melted right away. Of course, Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream contains only cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract. The Klondike Bar melted a little. It contains some ingredients similar to Walmart's Great Value ice cream. The media reported that the Great Value ice cream sandwich from Walmart didn't appear melted much at all. The Great Value ice cream remained solid. The reporter contacted Walmart, but representatives didn't want to comment. The media testers concluded that ingredients designed to keep the Walmart ice cream sandwiches cheaper may be the culprits.

According to Walmart's website, the ice cream in a Great Value ice cream sandwich contains: Milk, Cream, Buttermilk, Sugar, Whey, Corn Syrup, Contains 1% Or Less of Mono-And Diglycerides, Vanilla Extract, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Carob Bean Gum, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Artificial Flavor, and Annatto For Color.

ABC News said that the ingredient list is all deemed safe by the FDA, so the product's apparent lack of melting should be of no consequence.

The public, in general though, is no longer satisfied with what food suppliers and the FDA consider safe food additives. Since the news broke, people have taken to social media to question what is causing the Great Value ice cream sandwiches to not drip into a sticky puddle on a hot summer day.

The sandwiches contain many additives that act to keep the sandwich firm, even in the heat. It's not that the ice cream hasn't melted; the melted ice cream simply remains firm even after it's warm.

Great Value ice cream sandwiches contain the firming agent Calcium Sulfate. Guar Gum and Carob Bean Gum is used in the sandwiches as a thickening agent. Carrageenan is also a thickening agent and a stabilizer. In addition, the Great Value ice cream sandwiches from Walmart contain the controversial hydrogenated oils monoglycerides and diglycerides which show up on labels as, "Mono-And Diglycerides." These act as emulsifiers that prevent the "ice cream" from separating and provide the dairy product with consistency.

In an online review of the Great Value ice cream sandwiches, a consumer from Oklahoma wrote, "These ice cream sandwiches are a great value and looked great out of the wrapper. The only thing is that the chocolate cookie did not have much flavor and neither did the ice-cream. Needs to be taken up a notch." For the price though, that may not be possible.

Technically, Great Value bars still melt, but with all of the non-ice cream that Walmart has added to this summer-time favorite, you'll pretty much never get the classic, "melted ice cream" effect.

— Jeanne Siy (@jeannesiy) July 21, 2014