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.