By Priyanwada Ranawaka and Smriti Daniel
Ice cream, like chocolate was originally
reserved solely for the enjoyment of royalty. “Crème
ice” was considered quite a delicacy by many famous historical
personalities ranging from Charles the first of England, to the
American president Thomas Jefferson. So when we got a chance to
visit an ice cream factory, we realised that it could turn out to
be one of our most savoured experiences ever! We had after much
consideration and comparison, settled on the Cargill factory for
our day out, a choice that was soon to be proven right.
first person we met at the factory was Dr. J.S. Punjraj who is the
Managing Director. You will be very glad to know that he loves to
have visitors and children are his favourite visitors of all. You
can come to the factory with your class or your friends and actually
see how ice cream is made!
Dr. Punjraj is a very nice man, you will understand exactly what
we mean when we tell you that right after the introductions were
completed, he offered us a choice between ice cream and tea. We
chose without hesitation, what any normal person would - ice cream.
And as you probably know already, that was a very wise decision.
we were taking indecently large bites out of our chocolate cones,
Dr. Punjraj began to explain how ice cream is made. As ice cream
is meant to be frozen cream, one of the main ingredients is fresh
milk. Because fresh milk contains some nasty things that can make
you sick, it needs to be put through a pasteurisation process first.
Louis Pasteur is credited with discovering the process. Pasteur’s
aim was to destroy bacteria, moulds, spores and other harmful agents,
by exposing them to very hot and very cold temperatures in which
they could not survive.
this sterilised milk, is added more cream, sugar, flavour, fruits
and nuts. The entire mix is then frozen. Now this mix is what really
decides the taste and quality of the ice cream, according to Dr.
Punjraj. “A bad mix could result in the ice cream melting
too quickly or in the formation of little ice crystals that ruin
the smoothness of the ice cream,” he explained. Apart from
the mix the freezing process also plays a very crucial role.
emulsion is when two individual compounds are mixed together so
that they become one. An emulsion should never separate back into
its individual parts, so when milk and fat are mixed to form the
ice cream base at the factory, great care is taken to ensure it
is done well. In the exact proportions and processes used to make
and freeze the mix, lies the secret of Cargills’ ever so tasty
serving us a countless number of ice creams, Dr. Punjraj welcomed
us to take a look around the factory with him. We were not allowed
to enter some of the production areas. “You have to take a
good bath and get into special clothes for that,” he said.
And in those cases we stood wide-eyed as we watched through glass
windows, men in white suits handled big, efficient machines. Their
suits looked a little like space suits without the padding; they
even had white boots to match!
you can imagine, big ice cream factories like Cargills need big
expensive machines to churn out enough ice cream to keep everyone
happy. They have machines, which mix, churn, freeze and pack and
which have to be overseen by staff all the time. But as that means
spending hours in front of a computer it is not really the most
fun job at the factory. The best job there, in our opinion, is that
of “inventor of new flavours of ice cream”. Three lucky
people get paid to sit and think up new flavours, and it is thanks
to them that Blueberry, Peach and Black Current are soon going to
be on the market.
the next time your tongue and teeth tingle as you bite into an ice
cream think about how much time and effort it took to get it to