Food meltdown

Project summary

Many foods are complex structures built out of different types of microstructural elements. Ice cream and whipped toppings are unique in that they are largely foams that have been solidified by the addition of either ice or fat crystals. When these products fail, it is usually because the structure collapses after some of the crystals melt. However, it is not possible to predict when a given structured product will collapse, even if you know how much it has melted, because the structure is so complex.

Project objectives

  • Study the melting and collapse of a model food product
  • Use bulk and microscopic observations to determine a way to predict when a material will collapse
  • Develop high-stability product formulations