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What are food additives that help popsicles/shaved ice melt slower?

Simple popsicle ingredients: water, sugar, flavoring

I used agar agar and gelatin before, but don’t want to: The texture is not the same, it feels like icy flakes, not like fluffy snow.

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    – Stephie
    Jan 21, 2020 at 11:21
  • Alcohol has a lower freezing point, so may help, but that might not be acceptable depending on who you are serving to!
    – GdD
    Jan 21, 2020 at 13:07
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    @GdD : wouldn't the lower freezing point of alcohol mean that it'd also melt at a lower temperature?
    – Joe
    Feb 21, 2020 at 2:50

3 Answers 3

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You could experiment with decreasing the sugar...higher sugar means quicker melting. However, if you want to eliminate all melting, you could try making a fluid gel using low acyl gellan (typically 0.5% to 1.25%...so, it doesn't take much). Then freeze that. It is more freeze/thaw stable than agar.

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    The gums would probably give you a more chewy texture....xanthan, perhaps more slimy.
    – moscafj
    Jan 21, 2020 at 12:07
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Agar agar and gelatin are options, but as you said, you don't want to use them because they change the texture of your popsicles.

Here is a suggestion that would technically slow down the melting process of your popsicles, but the differences might be too negligible to notice:

Instead of an additive, how about removing an ingredient (air) instead? Freeze your popsicles slowly (at around 0 degrees Celsius), to minimize the amount of air trapped inside them. It also ensures larger crystals within the popsicles, as opposed to tiny crystals. Then freeze at the lowest possible temperature to ensure they stay colder longer.

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  • Maybe not "the lowest possible temperature". In high school, I had an acquaintance who thought it would be a good idea to make popsicles with vodka and liquid nitrogen. This... did not end well. Mar 27 at 13:35
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You won't believe me, but.... watermelon. Watermelon chunks take 6 hours or longer to thaw out. Logic would suggest that it would delay the melting point of a basic homemade Popsicle as well. Plus, it provides that soft-mush texture that the manufacturers have mastered. And, of course, real added nutrition. Yep, watermelon does all that.

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  • Most plant/animal tissue is slow to thaw, because the cellular structure retards heat conduction. But that benefit would presumably be lost if the watermelon was juiced or puréed. Are you saying that that doesn’t happen, that watermelon juice/mush is somehow significantly slower to thaw than other fruit juice/mush? Or are you saying, instead of making popsicles the OP should just freeze watermelon slices?
    – Sneftel
    Mar 5, 2023 at 8:33
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    @Sneftel While frozen watermelon slices sound like they might be tasty, I am suggesting that the watermelon be mushed (food processor, immersion blender, etc.) and added to the other popsicle ingredients. The "mush" would still contain all of the plant fiber, which would provide the correct texture changes and slow the thawing.
    – elbrant
    Mar 9, 2023 at 2:05

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