Food design studio Bompas & Parr has created luminescent ice cream so cinema-goers can see their snacks in the dark.
Bompas & Parr designed the treats for ice cream brand Cornetto to feature the iconic waffle cone and chocolate top but with a glowing yellow filling.
Related story: Heinz Beanz Flavour Experience by Bompas & Parr
"The team at Cornetto wanted to do a cinema-based snack that you can eat and still see in the cinema without disrupting the film," co-founder Sam Bompas told Dezeen.
To make the ice cream glow, the designers impregnated it with riboflavin – or vitamin B2 – which luminesces under certain wavelengths of light.
UV light was shone into the cinema to illuminate the ice cream without impairing the view of the screen.
Riboflavin has a bitter taste, but this was masked by the amount of sugar and fat in the mint chocolate-chip ice cream.
"This is something we've been experimenting with for a long time," Sam Bompas told Dezeen.
The team has since taken the idea further and created a series of dessert sauces that are infused with glowing luciferin enzymes from genetically modified bacteria.
"This is something quite special," Bompas said. "Using the same enzyme that fireflies and jellyfish use to fluoresce, that we use to make a fancy sauce for the dessert."
The enzyme doesn't require UV light to glow and can be seen in food under normal light conditions.
"There's no trickery, you just put a drop in and you see the fluorescence blossom in front of you," said Bompas. "It's totally organic and natural, if you're okay with genetically modified organisms."
These projects follow a series of glow-in-the-dark jellies that Bompas & Parr created for an exhibition at SFMoMA, made using tonic water, which contains quinine that luminesces under a UV light.
"Since then, we've developed a whole series of techniques and ingredients to make food glow beautifully and still taste delicious," said Bompas.
The studio has previously come up with a musical spoon that you listen to through your mouth and a set of handmade bowls to match five new flavours of Heinz baked beans.
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