By measuring the size of its ice crystals through a 200-times magnified lens, Mackie's of Scotland has been able to get a better understanding of how its ice crystals have shrunk, as a result of switching to its new Starfrost freezing system.
The system can freeze faster which has not only made the ice crystals smaller but they are now also rounded, with Dr Kerr Matthews, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Robert Gordon University (RGU) corroborating the results – which will create a smoother, creamier "mouthfeel".
Ostwald ripening – the scientific term for ice-crystal growth on production or storage – will also be significantly reduced through use of the new efficient freezer system. This means that ice cream is less prone to becoming more icy while in freezers in stores or in the distribution system.
Dr Matthews, said: “We found the ice crystals in ice cream from the new freezer to be smaller and rounder due to the faster and more efficient freezing time.
"The less angular and more spherical ice crystals result in a smoother texture and creamier taste of the ice cream.”
The new spiral freezer is just one component of the £4.5m Low Carbon Refrigeration project underway at Mackie's of Scotland - with the final stages of biomass and an absorption chiller expected to be fitted in the coming weeks.
The innovative new system is anticipated to reduce the family farm’s energy use and CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent.
Kirstin McNutt, development director with Mackie's of Scotland, said: “Our ice cream has always been known for its smoothness due to the real dairy ingredients.
"We are delighted to find that the new freezer has elevated this even further – making the taste and texture ever better for our consumers!
“It was fantastic to be able to see the ice crystals – this is something I’ve been working on for years and Dr Matthews has now been able to show us real images, it’s fascinating to see the theory come to life with the microscopic slide evidence."