Have you ever wondered that in movies, when the characters are having a drink and the glasses all have ice in them, why don’t they melt that quick? Well, it is due to science. Do you know that there are reusable ice cubes now that don’t melt and can be used again and again? Yes, scientific innovation is definitely changing the way we are living. Whether it is solving some day-to-day problems or just making things easier to deal with, science can help in pretty much everything. Add to that the latest innovation that is basically revolutionising the ways in which food is kept efficiently cool and transported accordingly.
Reusable Ice Cubes
The uses of ice cubes are too many to count. From keeping your drink cold to cooling the packets and keeping meat fresh, there are many things to do with ice. You are probably aware that ice packs are constantly used on a very large scale for food packaging and transportation purposes. However, ice packs aren’t really the safest option always. There could be many reasons for that. First of all, the ice tends to melt pretty quickly. Secondly, the ice packs aren’t really biodegradable. Hence, each time the food industry is using these ice packs for transportation and keeping food fresh, there is a lot of harmful waste being generated. However, a group of scientists and researchers have been going at this problem to find the solution and finally, it is here.
Can you imagine that there is an ice cube that will not melt or grow mould as well? Do you know what we are talking about? Well, it is the jelly cubes that have won everybody’s hearts for sure. This is one of the latest inventions made by mankind. Scientists have actually designed these jelly cubes in an environmentally friendly manner.
Hence, these cubes are free of plastic and are supposedly designed to open new doors in the technology of food-cooling industries. While the regular ice packs tend to melt very quickly and produce a lot of plastic as waste material which takes years for decomposition and results in air pollution, these jelly cubes have been designed. They are created to solve the problem and reduce pollution in the best way.
As we have already mentioned before, jelly cubes are nothing like our regular ice cubes. Firstly, they don’t melt and secondly, they have antimicrobial properties. Hence, there will be no cross-contamination. Also, these cubes have been designed to reduce waste by a very large margin for sure. A group of agricultural and biological engineering scientists and their leader Dr Gang Sun from the University of California are credited for the creation of this amazing jelly ice cube.
This can definitely be considered a good cooling medium and is completely reusable as well. According to the researchers, the jelly cube can be used for 13 hours in order to cool anything. The next thing that you need to do is collect it, rinse the ice cube, and then put it in the freezer again.
Suppose you have a piece of ice with a stone frozen in it. When the ice melts the stone will be free from the ice layer. However, in the case of jelly cubes, no such thing will happen because the ice cube doesn’t melt. Hence, the object will be preserved there for a long time. These jelly cubes are basically made with hydrogel. It is a substance that has a super-soft structure that is somewhat gelatinous in nature. This hydrogel is able to trap water inside it.
So, there is no doubt that the regular ice cubes will melt, the jelly cubes won’t let the water escape and hence it is more sustainable. Jiahan Zou, one of the researchers who were in the project mentioned that these amazing reusable cooling cubes can actually be moulded into any size or shape that is needed. Apart from that, these cubes can also efficiently change colour on the basis of the temperature that is around them. The main goal of the researchers is to use some recycled agricultural waste or materials as the coolant material so that it can be even more sustainable in the long run.
So, what exactly is the reason why the researchers decided to come up with the proper idea of creating these amazing jelly cubes in order to reduce the consumption of water? Well, the cooling cubes actually are pretty reusable and are able to save a lot of water for sure. There are many eco-friendly qualities in these amazing jelly cubes and hence these are a perfect way to reduce the pollution caused due to plastic. The hydrogel material that is used in these reusable ice cubes is actually pretty biodegradable and hence compostable as well. Unlike the different plastic freezer packs, they will not leave behind any long-surviving plastic water. So, that seems to be a win-win situation for everyone here, right?
When it comes to using the amazing jelly cubes, according to scientists, they are not really ready for prime use yet. They consider these jelly cubes to be just prototypes. As they are going forward with the project, they want to make some additional improvements to these cubes as well. Having said that, these jelly cubes definitely have the potential to take over the use of regular ice packs and cubes.
These cubes will definitely aid in proper water consumption reduction and make a positive impact on the environment as well. So, companies that have business in the food and packaging industries can definitely take a lot of help from these jelly cubes for sure. So, what other kinds of ice cube replacements do you think can be created? How about stainless steel ice cubes? Who knows what possibility arises in the future?