Focusing on the science of ice cream making, the students examined the structure of ice cream and its relationship to the ingredients and methods used in production. They learned that in addition to cream, sugar, and flavouring, air must be added to give ice cream its proper texture. They also learned that cooling is a critical step in the process, and that the faster the ingredients are cooled, the smaller the crystals will be and, hence, the smoother the creamy result.
So how does one cool things super fast? Enter the final ingredient: liquid nitrogen. Registering a hard-to-imagine negative 320 degrees fahrenheit (cryogenic), liquid nitrogen very quickly turns the soupy mixture into super fine crystals (along with nitrogen bubbles), resulting in a thick and rich and tasty treat.
It also creates a witches’ cauldron-like cloud that turns the ice cream making process into an exciting adventure. (view photo gallery)
A side note: nitrogen is a harmless part of our atmosphere, so there is no worry regarding residual nitrogen in the ice cream.