Fourteen high school juniors from Harford County, Md., completed their fifth and final week of classes at the “Ice Cream University” May 11, at TIC Gums Inc. Texture Innovation Center in White Marsh, Md. The course provides an opportunity for college-bound juniors with an interest in science and/or marketing to learn first-hand about new food product development and how to successfully market and sell their offerings. The classes were led by faculty from Cornell University and representatives from local businesses.
Students worked in groups to create and manufacture their own flavors of ice cream. During the first weeks of study, scientific principles such as emulsions, osmosis, specific gravity, freezing, point depression, overrun calculation, ice crystal formation, and statistical know how for tracking and maintaining quality were taught, as these are just some of the technical skills needed for a career in food science. After learning the basics of ice cream development and manufacture, the focus turned to flavor selection, the addition of “inclusions” like fruit, nuts, or cookie dough, through to packaging. Ice cream is but a single food type where these same skills will translate. In later weeks, students were taught how to develop and present advanced marketing plans for their respective products.
“We believe that these students will be better prepared to both decide on a food science career and have the benefit of this type and level of prior exposure before the start of college course work,” said Tim Andon of TIC Gums Inc. and a Cornell graduate.
The costs of the classes were paid for by the following sponsors: Broom’s Bloom Dairy, Cornell University, Harford County Schools, Star Kay White, and TIC Gums Inc.