Food Sciences Expert Discusses Antifreeze Properties of Beetles

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Prof. Douglas Goff

The next generation of antifreeze could be made of beetle juice, but don’t expect to find it in ice cream any time soon, U of G Food Sciences Prof. Doug Goff tells Cosmos Magazine.

Researchers have discovered that a Scandinavian insect called the black-spotted longhorn beetle contains one of the most powerful antifreeze proteins ever discovered. Now researchers are investigating how to use the bug in de-icing chemicals or to improve the transporting of tissues for organ transplants.

But for now, experimental antifreezes are too expensive to be used in the food industry, Goff told Cosmos.

Goff studies physical chemistry and structure of complex foods, including dairy products and frozen foods. He has studied how to control ice recrystallization through polysaccharides and ice structuring proteins, as well as polysaccharide functionality in dairy, particularly carrageenan and its interaction in milk products.