With the mercury soaring this week, we bet you’ve already planned your little scoop of ice cream. And as always, the next time you want to refill, you’ll swear when you see this layer of ice crystals covering your delicious vanilla ice cream. Don’t worry, it will soon be ancient history thanks to… cellulose from wood!
Vanilla, strawberry or chocolate, we all love to tame the heat with a scoop of ice cream. So this heat wave will officially usher in the ice season… and the first ice crystals to form on your trash can. Those pesky little pieces that crack under the bite and are due to the operation of the freezer. In fact, if you take the ice tray out, the temperature rises while it is much lower in the freezer. As it cools, condensation forms and turns into frost. In reality, the temperature should remain below -40° and this constant so that the crystals are almost imperceptible.
Most ice cream recipes contain stabilizers to limit the formation of ice crystals, but also to make the preparation less hard. Its use is especially recommended when it comes to a custard-based ice cream. Manufacturers often use gums extracted from carob or guar seeds, or xanthan gum. In any case, they are additions that are also recommended for pastry chefs who are preparing their own ice creams. It is also very easy to find ice stabilizers in specialty stores.
An ecological alternative
Eureka! Researchers have found a way to do it without these additives. At the University of Tennessee, Tao Wu’s team worked on a cellulose extracted from processed wood to find an alternative. According to this study reported by the specialized media Sciencenewsforstudents.org, cellulose nanocrystals were added to a sugar solution. After 24 hours, the ice crystals stopped growing. And a week after the start of the experiment, these were no more than 25 micrometers in size. According to scientists, using gums as a stabilizer generates crystals twice as large in just three days…
(ETX Daily Up)