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Why when ice cream melts and is refrozen it tastes different, usually worse?

4601 day(s) ago

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Iíve noticed this unfortunate circumstance myself. This happens because ice cream is produced through a homogenizing process that keeps the ingredients perfectly mixed as it becomes frozen. When ice cream melts, the ingredients separate. When it is refrozen, it is usually just stuck into a freezer instead of going through that homogenizing process in which it was created. This also accounts for that weird gummy section on the bottom or the sides of the refrozen ice cream.

The process that homogenizes ice cream is actually quite simple. In hand-powered ice cream makers, it is a simple crank that is turned, which spins a paddle through the chamber to keep all the ingredients mixed as the ice cream slowly freezes. Newer ice cream makers use an electric motor.

Manual ice cream makers work by using a two-chambered system. The inner chamber holds all the ingredients, which can vary but usually include cream, milk, sugar and flavorings. The outer chamber holds ice and salt. It seems counterintuitive that a melting agent would be used in making ice cream, but as the salt melts the ice, it actually draws heat out of the inner chamber, causing the ingredients to freeze faster.

Newer ice cream makers donít use ice. Some electric models were placed inside the freezer to work, but this caused an awkward setup whereby the electric cord still had to lead out of the freezer to an outlet. Another type uses a special cooling agent that reaches temperatures below the freezing point of water. These types of ice cream machines usually have to be kept in the freezer for 24 hours before use, but then they can make ice cream on the countertop instead of having to be kept in the freezer.

Many modern ice cream makers have a built-in refrigeration chamber, like a mini freezer, which totally automates the process. This type of machine can make fresh, homemade ice cream in only about 20 minutes.

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