How the Science of Avalanches Will Help Save Ice Cream Thanks to Nestle

Well,  it’s Spring and everything is melting, especially this year’s very heavy snows in Europe and the United States. The resulting massive pile-ups of snow are certainly keeping the scientists at Switzerland’s famed Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research very busy. 

Currently they are researching the size of ice crystals and the air bubbles present in snow as it relates to avalanches. The alert scientists at Nestlé’s research center caught wind of the Institutes findings and saw a parallel in ice cream.

Working together and using the world's one and only x-ray tomography machine, the joint team discovered that the ice crystals in ice cream start fusing together if frozen for a prolong period. The result is a complete change in texture and that oh-no gloss that so many chefs hate. In short, the ice cream is now far more “ice” than “cream” and ready for the garbage.

And when this occurs in snow, it makes for a thunderous and very deadly avalanche. So the scientists are now hard at work to see now the deteriorating of both ice cream and snow banks can be controlled.

Until they publish their findings in a scientific journal such as Soft Matter, well, we’ll all just have to just continue to check the expiration date on our ice cream and hope that science carries us forward to a future where the ice cream not only tastes great but never melts. Please hurry - soon it will be summer!

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2012

Post Note, March 27, 2012: For those of a scientific bent, here is Nestle's reasearch results published in Soft Matters. Enjoy!