Ice cream is a mixture of milk, cream, sugar, and sometimes other ingredients that have been frozen into a soft, creamy delight using special techniques. Ice cream has been very popular for centuries but has become commonplace since the widespread use of the refrigerator (temperatures below 2 ° C or 35 ° F). The explosive popularity of ice cream has led to many types of ice cream including frozen custard, frozen yogurt, and non-dairy versions made with ingredients such as peanut butter, Oreo cookies, and coconut milk. Ice cream containing less than 10% milk is called “frozen milk” or more commonly, low-fat ice cream. In addition to milk or cream, ice cream often contains stabilizers, like gluten, to help keep the mixture a consistent texture. Sugar or sugar additives are often added to give the delicious and sweet taste that most people expect. Non-sugary varieties have become popular and rely on adding natural fruit sugar and milk for their fine-drawn sweetness. Salt, which lowers the melting point of ice, is often used in the ice-cream making process. When the melting point of ice is lowered, it draws heat out from the ice-cream mixture faster, causing it to freeze at a quicker rate. Freezing the mixture quickly produces smaller ice crystals and a softer final product. Liquid nitrogen and dry ice can also be used to make ice cream as they also produce a quick freezing action.
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