Ice, Cream... and Chemistry - American Chemical Society (2024)

Ice Cream–True or False?

Many myths and half-truths are floating around about ice cream. Test your ice cream knowledge by deciding whether each of the following is true or false:

1. Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of England, helped to develop the formula for soft-serve ice cream before she entered politics, while working as a chemist in the food science industry.

2. Soft-serve ice cream was born on Memorial Day in 1934 when an ice cream salesman broke down and had to sell his melting ice cream, which was a big hit.

3. Modern-day ice cream was accidentally discovered in 1782 by Martha Washington, wife of the first U.S. president, who left a bowl of cream on the back steps of her home one night, and in the morning found it had hardened into ice cream.

4. The infamous Roman emperor Nero had slaves bring ice from the mountains so he could enjoy chilled desserts by pouring fruit juice and honey over the ice.

5. Ice cream sundaes were invented in the late 1800s in New York to circumvent the law prohibiting the serving of ice cream on Sunday, hence the name.

6. Eskimo pies were originally called “I Scream Bars.”

7. Explorer Marco Polo was the first person to bring ice cream to the New World, bringing the recipe from China.

8. The ice cream cone was invented in 1904 during the St. Louis Exposition when an ice cream vendor ran out of bowls and substituted rolled up waffles instead.

9. The ice cream sandwich was invented by Earl of Sandwich, in England.

Answers to True or False

1. Probably false. While Thatcher did work as a chemist for a company that developed soft serve ice cream, her actual role in developing the product was likely minimal, if at all.

2. Likely true, but may not be the first.

3. False.

4. Probably true.

5. Possibly true, but there are several other equally compelling stories about the origin of the sundae.

6. True.

7. Story likely true, but may not be the first.

8. Story likely true, but may not be the first.

9. False. Don’t mistake the ice cream sandwich for the actual sandwich, which was invented by the Earl of Sandwich.

Note: If you are concerned about the ambiguity of these answers, now you know why ice cream historians are still arguing about the origins of ice cream!

Ice, Cream... and Chemistry - American Chemical Society (2024)


How does ice cream relate to chemistry? ›

Ice cream is an emulsion—a combination of two liquids that don't normally mix together. Instead, one of the liquids is dispersed throughout the other. In ice cream, liquid particles of fat—called fat globules—are spread throughout a mixture of water, sugar, and ice, along with air bubbles (Fig. 1).

Is the American Chemical Society prestigious? ›

We're recognized as a leading publisher of authoritative scientific information. Our 80+ peer-reviewed journals are ranked the “most-trusted, most-cited and most-read.”

What is the ice cream principle? ›

In Don't Call It That: A Naming Workbook, Eli Altman calls this the “Ice Cream Principle.” It goes like this: “Tell 10 people to go get ice cream with one condition: they all have to agree on one flavor. The flavor is going to be chocolate or vanilla every time.

What is applied chemistry with ice cream? ›

In summary, applied chemistry is involved in making ice cream by using emulsifiers and stabilizers to improve texture, lowering the freezing point of the mixture, facilitating flavor development, and adjusting pH levels.

Is ACS a predatory journal? ›

ACS is a reputable association, not a predatory publisher.

Is the ACS exam hard? ›

People that do really well in chemistry and understand it well, typically do good on the final exam and says that it's easy. Because honestly, if you know your stuff really well, it IS pretty easy. However, for everyone else (anyone that doesn't understand Gen Chem 100%), it is an incredibly difficult test.

Is the American Chemical Society trustworthy? ›

More than 50 million researchers from around the world download articles from ACS Publications each year, relying on us to provide high quality, trustworthy information. The peer-review process of ACS journals forms the foundation of this trust, ensuring fair and constructive feedback from leading scholars.

What is the most unhealthiest ice cream in America? ›

25 Unhealthiest Ice Creams—Ranked by Sugar Content
  • Turkey Hill Tin Roof Sundae.
  • Turkey Hill Brownie Fudge Swirl.
  • Turkey Hill Frosted Party Cake.
  • Breyers Cookies and Cream.
  • Breyers Very Berry Cobbler.
  • Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter.
  • Blue Bell Cookies 'n Cream.
  • Tillamook Dark Chocolate Cookies & Cream.
May 6, 2024

Why is Blue Bunny not ice cream? ›

Ferrero-owned Blue Bunny used to be real Ice Cream but the ingredients have changed so much over the years that it can no longer be legally designated as Ice Cream >> with the exception of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Blue Bunny is now Frozen Dairy Dessert.

Why does ice cream not freeze? ›

As the ice cream mixture is cooled down, some of the water freezes and forms ice crystals. The concentration of sugar increases in the rest of the water, lowering the freezing point of the sugar-water solution – just like the salt in the example above. As a result, the ice cream stays soft.

What country invented ice cream? ›

The earliest evidence of anything approaching ice cream being made was in China in the Tang period (A.D. 618-907). Buffalo, cows' and goats' milk was heated and allowed to ferment. This 'yoghurt' was then mixed with flour for thickening, camphor (yes camphor!) for flavour and 'refrigerated' before being served.

How does the FDA define ice cream? ›

(1) Ice cream is a food produced by freezing, while stirring, a pasteurized mix consisting of one or more of the optional dairy ingredients specified in paragraph (b) of this section, and may contain one or more of the optional caseinates specified in paragraph (c) of this section subject to the conditions hereinafter ...

What is the science behind the ice cream experiment? ›

Salt lowers the melting temperature of ice, which makes the ice cream freeze faster. The more salt you add, the lower the melting temperature of the ice will be and the colder the icy solution will be. If you try the experiment again with no salt you'll notice that the mixture won't get cold enough to freeze the cream.

Is ice cream a mixture chemistry? ›

Ice cream is considered a mixture. But it is a special type called an emulsion. A mixture, by definition, is a combination of different substances mixed together. Ice cream fits this description since it is made up of milk, cream, sugar, and ice.

How does ice melting relate to chemistry? ›

Ice melting is a physical process, not a chemical one, but from a chemist's point of view it would probably be explained in terms of water molecules' vibrational energy overcoming the effect of hydrogen bonds.

What is the chemistry behind making ice cream in a bag? ›

Add salt and the freezing point drops by a few degrees. When you add salt to the ice in the outer bag, the ice (at 0°C) is now above its freezing point – so it begins to melt. Melting requires energy, and in this case that energy comes from the flavoured milk mixture in the inner bag.


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