Just days after National Ice Cream Day came and went, a concerned mother in Ohio made big news of the fact that Wal-Mart's Great Value ice cream sandwiches lack the ability to do what all the others can: melt.
Christie Watson just told WCPO in Cincinnati that her son recently left one of the unwrapped Wal-Mart sandwiches outside in 80 degree F heat for 12 hours and it hadn't melted.
"I thought that's quite weird," she said. "So I looked at the box, and it doesn't say artificial ice cream. It says ice cream."
The same thing happened to another sandwich that Watson then left out overnight. 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?"
So WCPO, as broadcasters are wont to do, performed its own more extensive experiment, leaving one of the Wal-Mart ice cream sandwiches out in the sun for a few hours, along with a Klondike bar and a pint of Haagen-Dazs.
Not surprisingly, reported the station, "The Wal-Mart sandwich [shown above], though it melted a bit, remained the most solid in appearance, and still looked like a sandwich."
The others melted away. that might be because the others don't contain the additives that Wal-Mart's ice cream sandwich do.
According to a cursory look at Wal-Mart's website, Great Value sandwiches contain just sugar, milk, cream, buttermilk, whey and corn syrup. But an analysis by Business Insider points out how Wal-Mart's product also contains "1 percent or less of mono- and diglycerides, vanilla extract, guar gum, calcium sulfate, carob bean gum, cellulose gum, carrageenan, artificial flavor and annatto for color."
Just like the no-drip ice cream that Cold Stone Creamery introduced in 2009, Wal-Mart's sandwiches make use of a modified food starch that makes their ice cream more like pudding.
"The modified food starch that sets instant pudding caused the resulting blend to gel rather than liquefy," New York Magazine reported about Cold Stone's product.
Wal-Mart wasn't very forthcoming about the additives though. It released the following statement that totally avoided the subject:
"Ice cream melts based on the ingredients including cream.Whether they like it or not.
"Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches.
"In the frozen aisles, Great Value ice cream sandwiches are one of the top sellers, and we are glad to be able to offer a great treat that families love."
[Image courtesy of WCPO]