Today’s Solutions: March 27, 2023

What if we could ship refrigerated goods without the use of ice or traditional ice packs? This is the vision of UC Davis researchers who recently developed a new type of ice cube which does not melt and is compostable and anti-microbial.

The new cubes, called “jelly ice cubes” contain mostly water (90 percent), but also have stabilizing components which prevent them from melting or cross-contaminating other goods. They resemble gelatin and are soft to the touch. The cubes change color to indicate their temperature.

According to Jiahan Zou, a Ph.D. graduate student involved in the cubes’ development, the jelly-like substance can be cut into any shape or size and used for 13 hours before it gets rinsed and re-frozen for reuse. To make the cubes even more sustainable, the researchers are working to use recycled agriculture waste or byproducts as the coolant material for the cubes.

The inspiration for the cubes came from fish processing sites, where huge amounts of ice are used. This not only takes a lot of water, but it also leads to cross contamination and pathogens spread as the ice melts. While plastic ice packs are one alternative to actual ice, these are plastic intensive and also prone to mold growth. The jelly cubes on the other hand can withstand 22 pounds of weight without changing shape and can be reused a dozen times. At the end of their life, they can simply be composted for a zero-waste end of life.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Removable solar panels might soon be rolled out on railway tracks

Solar panels are being laid out "like carpet" across Swiss train rails as part of the country's renewable energy initiative. Swiss startup company Sun-Ways ...

Read More

What cities can learn from Spokane’s approach to homelessness

The common approach cities take to deal with homelessness is tough enforcement: ticketing people for panhandling or sleeping in doorways or busing them to ...

Read More

How to have a conversation with someone you disagree with

Recent events in the United States underscore a deep trend towards polarization that is spreading throughout the country. As current events bring up strong ...

Read More

Eat this amount of fruit daily to significantly lower diabetes risk

As you may already know, fruit is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. A recent study, however, shows that just the right ...

Read More