Walmart's Great Value ice cream sandwiches don't melt.
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some misinformation.
This message along with related videos widely shared online claim that Walmart's Great Value ice cream sandwiches do not melt in Sun for a long period of time -- suggesting they couldn't be natural and healthy. Let us analyze the facts and whereabouts of this claim.
In mid July 2014, Cincinnati mother Christie Watson told the local news station WCPO (wcpo.com) that her son left a Walmart ice cream sandwich outside for 12 hours, and despite the temperature being 80 degrees, the ice cream sandwich never fully melted. Upon this, the news station conducted an ice cream melting experiment to examine the claim.
The WCPO team left a Walmart Great Value sandwich, a Klondike Bar sandwich and a cup of Haagen Dazs in the hot sun for 30 minutes. While the Haagen Dazs melted quickly into a puddle, and the Klondike sandwich melted to a fair extent, the Walmart sandwich melted only a bit and still looked like a solid sandwich. Shown in the video is the news report on same.
When WCPO contacted Walmart, they responded with the following statement:
"Ice cream melts based on the ingredients including cream. Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches.
In the frozen aisles, Great Value ice cream sandwiches are one of the top sellers, and we are glad to be able to offer a great treat that families love."
The ingredient list of Walmart's great value ice cream sandwiches includes corn syrup, guar gum, and cellulose gum among others. These are used as stabilizers to help the ice cream sandwich retain its shape and consistency - even during high temperatures. The more stabilizers in an ice cream, the slower it will melt. Haagen-Dazs ice cream, which melted quickly, does not contain any stabilizers.
These stabilizers, which are often derived from seaweed, are considered natural. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (fda.gov) categorized the stabilizers used in Walmart's great value ice cream sandwiches (cellulose gum and guar gum) as safe for consumption.
Also, according to Sean O'Keefe, a food chemist at Virginia Tech, the amount of fat in ice cream determines how fast it melts. The less fat, and more water in it, the slower the ice cream melts. The Walmart's great value ice cream sandwiches contain less fat, so overall; it doesn't matter if your ice cream sandwich won't melt.