A Chinese premium ice-cream company has sparked controversy on social media because its products allegedly don’t melt even when kept at high temperatures for long periods of time.
Last week, Zhongxuegao, a Chinese ice cream company known for its high-quality products, went viral on social media, after someone posted photos and videos of a Zhongxuegao ice cream next to a thermometer that showed 31 degrees Celsius. The original poster claimed that the frozen treat had been kept at that temperature for around an hour and a half, but it had clearly not melted one bit. The post got a lot of attention and inspired other people to conduct their own experiments, including taking an open flame to the ice cream to see if it melts. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
On July 5th, Zhongxuegao once again became the talk of Chinese interwebs, as a video of someone using a kitchen torch to melt one of its ice creams went viral. Although the exterior of the treat became charred, the ice cream didn’t melt the way you would expect, and that only added fuel to the fire, as did the dozens of other similar videos that popped up after that.
As the controversy around the quality of its supposedly high-end ice cream grew, Zhongxuegao eventually came out with a statement to hopefully put customers’ minds at ease. It claimed to use a ‘viscosity-enhancing agent’ to prevent the ice cream from melting easily, but assuring everyone that its product still met the national food safety standards.
That statement did little to calm spirits, especially considering Zhongxuegao’s reputation as a high-quality ice cream producer. According to Chinese news sources, its cheapest ice creams are priced at 12 yuan ($1.80), several times more expensive than other brands, and with higher-end ice creams reaching a whopping 160 yuan ($24).
“Is it safe for the human body to use a product that artificially prevents ice cream from melting for a long time?” one person asked on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.
“Food safety is the most important thing, and practical verification is necessary to completely quell public suspicion,” a journalist for People’s Daily wrote.
Zhongxuegao is one of the most successful ice cream producers in China, but its reputation and bottom line are expected to take a considerable hit following the recent ice cream melting controversy.
Interestingly, non-melting ice cream is a thing, but I guess people want it advertised as such.