New use for jellyfish luminescence: glow-in-the-dark ice cream!
The radioactive-looking ice cream color and luminescence was created by Lick Me I'm Delicious owner Charlie Harry Francis using a newly synthesized bioluminescent jellyfish protein created by a scientist in China. What else would you do with a bioluminescent protein but put it into ice cream, right?
According to Mr. Francis: “We’ve been working with a company who have managed to synthesize a protein extracted from jellyfish that causes bioluminescence to occur. We’re using a specific form of this protein which reacts with calcium at a neutral pH, causing the protein to glow when it comes into contact with calcium, i.e. when it’s agitated, i.e. when it’s licked.”
When asked about if it is safe to eat, here is what he had to say: "Is it safe to eat? Well I tried some and I don't seem to be glowing anywhere, so we'll go with a yes for now." I'm pretty sure the FDA will want a bit more information on its safety as a food additive though. ;)
The ice cream, however, comes with a hefty price tag: £140 per scoop ($225 for our American audience)! This is an unfortunate side-effect of the high cost of the synthesized bioluminescent jellyfish protein additive, thus you will probably not see this ice cream at Ben and Jerry's any time soon.
“It’s probably the most expensive ice cream I’ve ever made. Jellyfish luminescence is four times pricier than gold so each scoop costs me around £140 [or $225 US].”