Ice cream fans could soon savour a slower-melting treat on a hot day thanks to a new ingredient developed by scientists.
Researchers discovered a naturally occurring protein that can be used to create ice cream which is more resistant to melting than conventional products.
It works by binding together the air, fat and water - creating a super-smooth consistency.
The development could also allow products to be made with lower levels of saturated fat and fewer calories.
Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee estimate that ice cream made with the ingredient could be available within three to five years.
As well as keeping ice cream frozen for longer in hot weather, it could prevent gritty ice crystals from forming, ensuring a fine, smooth texture like those of luxury brands.
The protein, known as BslA, was developed with support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.