A team of inventors for US ice-cream maker Good Humor-Breyers has won a patent for using proteins from fish that thrive in freezing seas to improve water ices, sorbet, granitas and frozen fruit purées.

One of the drawbacks of many ice treats is that most of the colour and flavour can be sucked away in the first few tastes, leaving plain ice behind.

Addressing this frustration, the inventors, Adrian Daniel, Ian Lacy and Jon Oldroyd, working out of Bedford, England, invented a method where the antifreeze protein, derived from north Atlantic fish, creates a close-packed network of ice crystals.

That means the flavour and/or colour is not swiftly sucked out during consumption, but will linger longer.