It’s not the cheapest of novelty ice creams, at $220 a scoop, but it certainly is an out-of-the-ordinary experience.
U.K.-based portable ice cream company Lick Me I’m Delicious has come up with a glow-in-the-dark ice cream, using the luminescent protein exhibited by jellyfish.
Jellyfish are spared from the process, as a Chinese scientist synthesized the protein, but the jellyfish was inventor Charlie Francis’s muse.
The protein in the ice cream is activated when heat isapplied. The heat agitates the molecules, causing the ice cream to light upwhen you lick it.
When jellyfish or other bioluminescent creatures light up in nature, it is for a variety of reasons, including seeking a mate, alerting a predator or providing light to the environment surrounding them.
Since 1994, the Green Fluorescent Protein has been successfully cloned and placed in all types of plants and animals for scientists to observe when proteins are made, and where they go.
E. coli, yeast, algae, and pigs have all been analyzed with the help of GFP.
Perhaps the only logical connection between the protein in jellyfish and ice cream is that the luminescent protein is activated by calcium, which is of course contained modestly in the tasty treat.
Because of the price tag, the ice cream product may be a little tricky to market, in addition to uncertain health risks it may present.
There hasn’t been an extensive study done on the topic, so for now, Francis has been running the only tests on himself.
“I tried some and I don’t seem to be glowing anywhere,” he says.