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Scoop School: What's the deal with Ice Crystals?

Posted by Destini Miller on

In this segment of Scoop School, we get a look at how easy it is for ice crystals to expand inside your product and how we can prevent them from growing any larger.
Ice crystals are inevitable. There's no ice cream, custard, or frozen yogurt completely immune to ice crystal formation. This is because they are so small they are almost impossible to detect.
So how do we know there are ice crystals in our ice cream?  Ice crystals tend to clump together and create an odd texture inside your product. This will be most apparent when eating your dessert and you find it has a weird mouthfeel and the appearance will be very lumpy. This is how you know you've got tons of combined ice crystals. They can cause your product to come off as sub-standard-- and no one wants this.
So what do we do? If they're so inevitable, how exactly can you prevent them from getting in the ice cream? The true answer lies in not how you can prevent them from appearing, but how you can prevent them from growing. 
Mr. C uses snacking tomatoes to portray the initial size of ice crystals fresh out of your batch freezer.
Fluctuation in temperature causes the ice crystals to huddle together to stay cool....and eventually grow bigger. A snack-size tomato ice crystal is now a mandarin orange-sized ice crystal. Then, let's say the temperature fluctuates again because you removed the product from the freezer and set it on the counter to help a customer. Those mandarin orange-sized ice crystals are now full sized oranges.
Then let's say you removed it from the freezer once more but then set it on the counter so you could quickly train your employee on how to use the milkshake mixer. Those orange-sized ice crystals are now grapefruit-sized ice crystals!
This cycle will continue as long as you keep fluctuating the temperature of your products. Scoop School suggests combating this issue by maintaining a constant cool temperature for your product regardless of other distractions. You wouldn't want to sell a full tub of sub-standard products because you went to help an employee. Take note of the stage your product is currently in and keep it in an environment that won't hinder this.
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🍦Special thanks to Scoop School for the lesson provided.🍦
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Slices Concession
(Main Office)
352-262-9627
2300 NW 71st Pl Gainesville, FL 32653

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