Everyday Genius: Dippin' Dots | Delve
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How It's Made

Everyday Genius: Dippin' Dots

August 30, 2017

Putting the freeze on cream and sugar is what it’s all about at Dippin’ Dots.

But have you ever considered the processes and technology that it takes to deliver those outrageous beads of frozen fun to you around the world?

A bio-technology researcher named Curt Jones is the mastermind behind this magnificent frozen treat. He set up headquarters in the heartland of our country — Paducah, KY to be exact. This is where hundreds of employees gather in an icy wonderland of mixers, hoppers, conveyors and cryogenic freeze chambers to concoct all the fun, fruity and natural flavors of delicious ice cream we get to enjoy.

Hundreds of gallons of cream, large bags of sugar and other wonderful ingredients are combined into 200 gallon vats. These vats are the size of small cars and they churn away to make a smooth and consistent flavor of liquid goodness. This mixture is gravity fed through a large group of small pipes where the real magic happens. When the small beads of liquid fall into a cryogenic chamber bath of liquid nitrogen (-321 F), they flash freeze into about 18 million spheres that we know as Dippin’ Dots.

But the fun doesn’t stop there; these dots must stay frozen and make their way to packaging conveyors and sealers. To keep the beads from melting into a mushy mess there are quality control check points along the whole route. These freshly packed containers again find their way onto more conveyors until they hit storage where workers in special suits keep about 2.2 billion dots per day safe at -50 F degrees. This is as cold as Antarctica, where temperatures can plummet down to -58 F, 90 degrees below freezing temperature.

These vats are the size of small cars and they churn away to make a smooth and consistent flavor of liquid goodness.

So on those hot summer days when you’re enjoying some of these magnificent spherical wonders of cream and sugar, keep in mind the technology, machines and amazing people it takes to get them into your hands / belly.

And even if former press secretary Sean Spicer famously doesn’t like them, well, who cares? Plain vanilla is the best flavor ever.

Watch a cool video of the process here.

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