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Researchers Develop Ice Cube That Doesn’t Melt or Grow Mold

Researchers have developed a new cooling cube to cut down on cross-contamination, that won't melt, is compostable, and plastic-free, courtesy of Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a new type of cooling cube that could revolutionize how food is kept cold and shipped fresh without relying on ice or traditional cooling packs.

These plastic-free, “jelly ice cubes” do not melt, are compostable and anti-microbial, and prevent cross-contamination. “When ice melts, it’s not reusable,” said Gang Sun, a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. “We thought we could make a so-called solid ice to serve as a cooling medium and be reusable.”

The researchers began working on the coolant cubes after they saw the amount of ice used at fish-processing plants and the cross-contamination that meltwater could spread among products or down the drain. The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded a $485,000 grant for the research. For more information, read the UC Davis news article.

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