SCIENCE

This Ice Cream Changes Color As You Lick It

07/30/2014 03:49 pm ET

For most people, ice cream is all about flavor. But for Spanish physicist Manuel Linares, it's the color that counts.

Linares has created an ice cream that changes color as it's eaten. The fruity confection, called Xamaleón -- as in, chameleon -- starts out as a periwinkle blue and gradually morphs into hues of purple and pink.

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So far, Linares has been tight-lipped about the specific ingredients responsible for the color change, but he has opened up a bit about how the reaction works.

Apparently, it's all about temperature -- heat from saliva and slight changes in the surrounding air.

Though the change may seem unusual, you've probably observed something similar with other edibles -- without realizing it.

"Any food will change color if it changes temperature, you encapsulate it or it oxidizes," Linares told Spanish-language gastronomy website Cocinatis.

In a video posted on Linares' IceXperience Facebook page, a sample cone can be seen changing from purple to pink -- similar to the way chameleons change colors to adapt to their surroundings.


Xamaleón is similar to an experimental glow-in-the-dark ice cream created by the British company "Lick Me Delicious," from which Linares has said he drew his inspiration. The key to the glowing ice cream is luminescent proteins found in jellyfish.

While the glow-in-the-dark treat is priced at a whopping $225 a scoop, Xamaleón's cost is comparable to that of artisanal ice cream. What a delicious surprise!

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