In the USA, they created reusable jelly ice in the form of cubes that change color depending on the temperature.
Researchers at the University of California Davis (UCD) have developed a new type of ice that allows food to stay cold without the use of traditional cooling bags. Essentially, these are jelly ice cubes that are plastic-free, non-melting, compostable, antibacterial, and prevent cross-contamination.
“Once the ice melts, it cannot be reused,” explains Gang Sun, professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UCD. “We thought we could make ‘reusable’ ice that acts as a cooling medium and can be used over and over again.”
The new cooling cubes are made up of 90% water and other ingredients that preserve and stabilize the ice structure. Such ice is soft to the touch, like jelly, and it changes color depending on the temperature. As noted by the authors of the development, such reusable cubes can be designed or cut to any desired shape and size. After 12 uses, it can be recycled.
Reusable ice can be used to chill for 13 hours. After that, the cubes must be rinsed with water and placed in the freezer to prepare for reuse. Scientists have already applied for a patent. In the future, researchers hope to use recycled agricultural waste as a cooling material.