When Saina Nehwal won her first Superseries in Indonesia, one of the most interesting stories that emerged was how she had to forego ice-creams as part of her strict diet. Saina, who was fond of ice-creams and chocolates as a child, had to make the highest sacrifice demanded of any sweet-toothed youngster – if she had to get better as a badminton player, she had to cut away those snacks that stealthily add to body weight.
All competitive athletes are told to keep away from these devilish temptations. Now, perhaps, a solution has emerged: a Danish ice-cream maker has developed ice-cream that will enhance, rather than retard, performance.
Martin Jorgensen, founder and CEO of Is fra Skaro (literally: ‘Ice-cream from Skaro’) promises to relieve all sports people of the tedium of a life without ice-cream. Jorgensen has developed ice-cream that contains 9 per cent protein and less than 3 per cent fat. The most crucial element is perhaps that Is fra Skaro has managed to cut down the sugar content to a third; most of its sweet taste comes from the juice of the birch tree.
“The ice-cream can be used by athletes during training, and for cancer patients too,” says Jorgensen. “Since the sweet taste is from the birch tree, it helps reduce the sugar content by one-third. The ice-cream also has protein supplements developed from sea weed.”
Jorgensen, whose ice-cream plant is located in a small island, is looking to tie up with companies in Asia. He is also looking at cancer-fighting herbal additives from the Himalayas. “There’s a long history of ayurvedic medicine in India and Nepal,” he says. “I was in Nepal recently, and we’re talking to people there to see if we can source some cancer-fighting herbs that we can include in the ice-cream. This might also provide employment to people without threatening the ecosystem.”
Jorgensen began his career as an aquaculturist, but the business unexpectedly closed down after the plant was ravaged by a fire accident. His wife had a hobby in making ice-creams, and Jorgensen himself had developed knowledge about isolating protein supplements from seaweed. One thing led to another, and soon they had a unique product on their hands.
Interestingly, the ice-cream does not use milk. Instead, it uses a newly-developed organic dairy product called Kilk, which contains seven times the protein that milk contains. Jorgensen claims that all ingredients are sourced from nature – Danish sun-ripened fruits and berries, and never concentrates.
Is fra Skaro does have a unique taste, and its consistency reminds one of the Indian kulfi. The ‘Organic Soft-Ice’ for sports people comes in several flavours: cinnamon, elderflower, liquorice, mocha, chocolate and vanilla. If the ice-cream is as good as it claims to be, sports people across the world can be grateful to Martin Jorgensen.