Mackie’s Under the Microscope

At Mackie’s, we are always eager to use new technologies to help us improve on our ice cream making skills and ensure that our ice cream is as delicious as possible. As part of our £4.5 million Low Carbon Refrigeration project, which will reduce the farm’s CO2 emissions by up to 80%, we have installed a new spiral freezer.

We are delighted to have proved that installation of the new Starfrost spiral freezer brings with it more than just environmental benefits, but also smoother, better, ice cream. By measuring the size and shape of our ice cream’s ice crystals through a 200-times magnified lens, we were able to see that the ice crystals have shrunk and become more rounded.

This is as a result of the ice cream being frozen down faster than had been possible in the previous freezer. Dr Kerr Matthews, lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Robert Gordon University corroborates the results – which will create a smoother, creamier “mouthfeel” for Mackie’s lovers.

Dr Matthews further explains that Ostwald ripening – the scientific term for ice-crystal growth on production or storage – will also be significantly reduced using the new, more efficient, freezer system. This will make the ice cream less prone to becoming icier (growing more ice crystals) while in freezers in shops or on its way there.

It’s a win-win for us and our customers, with improved ice cream and more environmentally friendly refrigeration. Have a look at the magnified images we have taken of the ice crystals created in our new and old freezers. To give some perspective, 10 microns (the scale bar on the images) is around one-tenth the width of a human hair. The whole width of the images supplied are equivalent to 0.2 mm. An average human hair would fill most of the frame! For more information on our Low Carbon Refrigeration project, [see here link].