Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hard and Fast: Nitrogen-Frozen Ice Cream


Do science and ice cream mix? The answer may surprise you: Apparently, science and ice cream are excellent companions, as a new ice cream parlor in Florida clearly demonstrates.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you may remember an article about a rather unorthodox method of making ice cream: mixing the ingredients in a bowl surrounded by liquid nitrogen. Science buffs love the idea of experimenting to create a better ice cream, and liquid nitrogen is one of the items that they work with all the time in the laboratory. A team of nurses at a Florida hospital decided that it was time to take this new approach out of the lab and into the public.

When you walk into SubZero Ice Cream & Yogurt, you might be worried at first. That’s because none of the ice cream is made yet. It’s just cream, milk, and mix-in ingredients. But you don’t have to wait 30 minutes after ordering your ice cream before it’s finished; liquid nitrogen does the job in a few seconds flat. The method of freezing in this ice cream parlor is even more dramatic than the one in our previous article; the employees here actually blast a bowl with compressed nitrogen while they mix your cream, flavors, and mix-ins inside it.

If you come up with a creative idea that is even outside the billions of combinations available in the store, the fast-freezing method allows the ice cream parlor to accommodate you. It only takes a second to make ice cream using coconut milk, almond milk, or bizarre mix-ins that customers bring in themselves.

Understandably, SubZero has attracted the attention of local science students and teachers. What could be sweeter than a field trip to an ice cream shop? The owners of the shop are more than happy to give customers a brief education in the science behind their method while they serve them.

Just when you thought there were no frontiers left in the ice cream industry, someone comes up with a simple but revolutionary idea—and one that is making money, too! So, what’s your game-changing concept? With the right business plan, location, and a passion for ice cream, you could be on your way to a career as an ice cream business owner. And if your idea is as exciting as using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze delicious ice cream, you just might find us writing about it!

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