Frosty Formulations Film Description

“Frosty Formulations,” a seven-minute short film from Chemistry ShortsTM, explores the surprising science behind one of the world’s favorite desserts. Ice cream is made up of dairy, sugar, flavorings, and chemistry! Like bubbles colliding and connecting, the interactions between the molecular components of ice cream are responsible for the dreamy qualities of texture and mouthfeel that we all enjoy so much. Those same interactions reveal important chemistry concepts that touch our lives daily.

States of matter, emulsifiers, and hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity are topics covered in the chemistry classroom, but also intrinsic to a delicious treat: ice cream.

In “Frosty Formulations,” Ice Cream ScientistTM Dr. Maya Warren takes us down to the microscopic level to discuss how ice cream is a solid, liquid, and gas all at once, and how the combination of those three states gives it its distinctive texture. But, that’s not all. The film dives deeper into the key steps in making ice cream that allow suspended fat globules to partially coalesce like soap bubbles: with the addition of an emulsifier, cold temperature, and friction from the churning ice cream maker. Without all of these steps, combined in just the right way, the complicated chemistry of ice cream wouldn’t form the same beloved treat! For teachers, this film is a way to engage students on important chemistry topics through an approachable, relatable subject.

“Chemistry has opened up the possibilities and opportunities in my life in ways I would’ve never even imagined. Being able to have something like ice cream and being able to relate that to my first love, which is chemistry, has been able to allow me to see life in a completely different way.”

– Dr. Maya Warren in “Frosty Formulations”

“Frosty Formulations” is aimed at high school to college students and can be used as a starting point for discussions around emulsions, hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity, and states of matter.

Learn more about Dr. Maya Warren here: