Today’s Video of the Day comes from the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series and features a look at the chemistry of ice cream.
According to Dr. Matthew Hartings from American University, the consistency of ice cream is determined by its ice crystals. As more ice is added to each individual ice crystal, the harder and crunchier the consistency becomes. A creamier ice cream comes from much smaller ice crystals.
There are two primary ways of keeping ice crystals small. One option is to use an emulsifier, which keeps water and fats from separating, and thus prevents water molecules from accumulating on top of one another. The second option is to allow the ice cream to freeze slowly over an extended period of time, which also helps prevent ice build-up.
Source: American Chemical Society