Science has given ice cream a makeover, expanding the number of options for people with lactose intolerance who cannot digest most dairy products.
Soy has long been an ingredient for alternative ice creams, but some claim it doesn't measure up in taste and "mouthfeel."
In an effort to create tasty non-dairy options, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Germany decided to experiment with a reedlike plant called lupin (from the genus Lupinus). Protein sets lupin and soy plants apart, the researchers say, according to one German broadcasting company. Lupin seeds produce high quality proteins comparable to milk, while soy lags behind and is unable to recreate the creaminess of true ice cream.
As a result, researchers have lent the technology and recipe to one company to market the plant-based ice cream as "Lupinesse," which is available in a handful of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla cherry and strawberry mousse to European consumers at a few grocers.
So far, lupin ice cream has performed well in informal taste tests.
Costing around $4 per half liter, lupin ice cream provides more variety for the 60 percent of people around the world unable to digest lactose. Vegans could also find the dairy-free product appealing.