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Breakthrough keeps ice cream cold while heating topping

By Rod Addy , 25-Feb-2013
Last updated the 25-Feb-2013 at 13:44 GMT

Frozen food manufacturers can now create inexpensive ice cream desserts with toppings that can be heated in a microwave without melting the ice cream thanks to another breakthrough from Shieltron.

Dick Geheniau, managing director of the firm, which is revolutionising microwave cooking for foodservice companies and food processors, told FoodProductionDaily.com that the technology had been proven through recent tests.

Shieltron researchers cooked frozen ice cream with a cherry topping in an 800 Watt microwave from a starting temperature of -16 degrees Celsius. “We heated for 1.25 minutes,” Geheniau told this site.

After the process was complete, he said, “the ice cream was at -10 [degrees Celsius] and the topping was 47 degrees [Celsius]”.

Shielding layers

The result was achieved using Shieltron’s in-moulds, which incorporate shielding layers that selectively shield different parts of the same product from microwaves.

This can either enable products more evenly, ensuring parts more prone to dehydration remain appropriately moist, or, as here, deliver cold products with hot toppings or vice-versa.

Crucially, Shieltron had been able to deliver the latest results using otherwise standard in-mould labelling and injection moulding technology and materials. This could keep costs down, so that products need only be priced at about 10% more than comparable frozen food items.

Viable for grocery retailers

Although he believed caterers would be interested in the latest development, this made it particularly viable for grocery retailers, he said.

He is now calling on large frozen food manufacturers to partner Shieltron in using the technology to create a range of products pitched at that market. “I wish to challenge the frozen food industry to win the next innovation awards with this innovation.”

He was convinced that if a frozen food firm clinched a deal with him now, he would enable them to use the technology to launch a product into full production before the summer, he said.

Shieltron was also working to deliver different products using the same technology in several locations across the globe, including Korea and the US, said Geheniau.

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