Dairy manufacturers have spent fortunes devising solutions to make ice cream more enjoyable for consumers. Today's choice of products includes brands that can be scooped straight from the freezer and a bewildering variety of flavours.
One recurring problem however has been that ice crystals often form when ice-cream has been stored for a while. This can affect the flavour and the consistency of the product.
Now a team of scientists at the Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Técnicas de Gipuzkoa (CEIT) in Spain are attempting to find a solution to this particular problem. The institution is analysing the behaviour of these small ice particles, which often measure less than a tenth of a millimetre, when subjected to extreme temperatures.
The prupose of this is to identify the optimal freezing temperature to avoid ice crystals increasing in size or sticking to one another during manufacturing or storing. This would allow ice cream to maintain its creamy consistency for longer.
The CEIT team has already reproduced the structure of ice-cream on computers to learn more about ideal storage times, pressure and temperature.
The Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Técnicas de Gipuzkoa (CEIT) is a non-profit research organisation, set up under the auspices of the Escuela Superior de Ingenieros of the University of Navarra at Donostia/San Sebastián in 1982.