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About this Article
Written by: Stephanie Ego
Written on: March 1st, 2017
Tags: health & medicine, food & drink, water, lifestyle, material science, chemical engineering
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About the Author
Stephanie Ego is a senior studying chemical engineering at the University of Southern California.
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Volume XVIII Issue I > Engineering Ice Cream

Step 4: The mixture is cooled, aerated, and finally frozen

Flavor is one of the main characteristics of ice cream, and it is during this final step that the flavor is concocted. Food chemists and cooks alike utilize different natural and artificial ingredients to create a wide variety of flavors to fulfill the desires of the consumer. Natural flavors such as vanilla, cocoa, and strawberry are high in demand; but due to limited supply and expenses, flavor chemists work to duplicate these natural flavors by synthesizing and blending compounds to form aromatic chemicals such as vanillin associated with vanilla extract [1]. Additional add-in such as candy bits, caramel, and chocolate chips are also incorporated at this point.
Once the ice cream has finished mixing, special care is taken to freeze the ice cream product. Freezing techniques such as dynamic and static freezing ensure that the desired texture and hardness are obtained. In dynamic freezing, the ice cream mix is quickly frozen and aerated (agitated), which limits the ice crystals’ size, disperses air bubbles, and forms fat globule clumps. Static freezing involves rapid cooling of the ice cream mix and controlled growth of ice crystals in correlation with decrease in temperature [1]. Freezing can take several hours and is dependent on the composition of the ice cream mix that controls the freezing point; a lower freezing point means a longer freezing time [1].