Wanna see something really scary? It’s freezer burn, and it’s eating away at your family’s precious store of stockpiled foods. And, with garden harvest season on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that scientists get cracking on this serious problem. Happily two are looking into it.
The pair have very different approaches: In Tokyo, Norio Owada has invented a device that uses a strong magnetic field to keep “the cream or beef’s water molecules swirling in liquid form even as their temperature plummets”—resulting in a cream cake frozen to minus-25 degrees that clangs when dropped, but when thawed tastes as good as fresh.
Meanwhile, University of Wisconsin–Madison food chemist Srinivasan Damodaran is working on a chemical solution to the problem. Inspired by the Arctic snow flea, Damodaran mixed gelatin with papaya enzymes to create an edible antifreeze that kept ice cream subjected to a range of temperature changes ice-crystal free. Put that in your fridge and freeze it.