Sunday, October 30, 2011

Which Melts Faster, Hard Ice Cream or Soft Ice Cream?

Which Melts Faster, Hard Ice Cream or Soft Ice Cream?thumbnail A messy melt down happens faster in some types of ice cream. Cold, creamy ice cream on a hot summer day beats the heat, but the heat can also give your dessert a beating. Hard-scooped ice cream and soft-serve are two different dairy products, but they will both melt with excessive heat. One of these will melt faster than the other. Knowing which is more prone to turning to soup on a hot day can help you make a choice at the ice cream shop for a longer-lasting treat.

Soft-serve ice cream is swirled out of a dispenser instead of scooped out of a carton. Jupiterimages/ Images

Soft-serve ice cream gets its name from its softer consistency. Commercial ice cream sellers have specialty freezers that churn and dispense the ice cream through a tube. Soft-serve's texture is achieved by serving the dessert at 15 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, where hard-packed ice cream is served. The warmer temperatures enable the tongue to perceive more flavors in the ice cream. Soft-serve ice cream in many commercial ice cream stores is the name given to lower fat ice milk served at soft-serve temperatures, according to "Everybody Loves Ice Cream: The Whole Scoop on America's Favorite Treat."

If you are served tight scoops of ice cream, you have hard packed ice cream. Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

True ice cream is made with cream and must contain at least 10 percent butterfat to be labeled as ice cream per United States Food and Drug Administration requirements. This ice cream has been frozen solid at 0 degrees Fahrenheit after churning in a process called ripening. This develops and improves the flavor of the ice cream, which becomes muted at colder temperatures. Hard ice cream is the type sold in grocery stores requiring a scoop to serve.

Melting rates of ice cream depend on the composition and the serving texture. The firmer the ice cream is served, the slower it will melt, according to "Handbook of Frozen Foods." Hard ice cream will melt slower than soft-serve, according to the book. The composition of the ice cream will also play a role in the speed of melting. Commercial soft serve ice creams with a lower fat content will melt faster than higher fat ice creams, according to "Good Housekeeping Step-by-Step Cookbook."

"Good Housekeeping Step by Step Cookbook: More Than 1,000 Recipes, 1,800 Photographs, 500 Techniques"; Susan Westmoreland; 2008"Everybody Loves Ice Cream: The Whole Scoop on America's Favorite Treat"; Shannon Jackson Arnold; 2004"Handbook of Frozen Foods"; Yiu H. Hui; 2004"What Einstein Told his Cook 2: The Sequel : Further Adventures in Kitchen Science; Robert Wolke, et al.; 2005Photo Credit Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images; Jupiterimages/ Images; Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images; Hemera Technologies/ Images; Read Next:

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