Dippin' Dots - How Cool Is That?

Sep 29
Curt Jones - Inventor of Dippin' Dots

Curt Jones, inventor of Dippin' Dots - Ice Cream of the Future and Official Ice Cream of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

I got the chance to meet Curt Jones, inventor of Dippin' Dots today at the Alltech Experience Pavilion. Before he revolutionized ice cream he worked as a microbiologist at Alltech. In fact, his work in Alltech's research lab gave him the idea for the ice cream of the future.

At Alltech, one of Curt's jobs was to freeze, then freeze-dry a bacteria solution. Once freeze-dried it could be turned into powder to be used in animal feed supplements like Yea Sacc1026.

He was working with Lactobacillus, the same type of bacteria that is used in yogurt, cheese and sauerkraut. They are found in the gastro-intestinal tract and are beneficial for digestion in humans and animals.

The challenge is in getting live bacteria, an aquatic single-celled organism, into a dry powdered feed supplement and keeping it alive. Once the powder is fed to an animal it is rehydrated and some of the bacteria survive. He wanted to keep as many bacteria alive as possible.

He found that dripping the bacteria solution into liquid nitrogen made perfectly round little pellets with very small ice crystals and no air pockets. Many more bacteria survived because the rapid freezing didn't allow large ice crystals to form bursting the cell wall.

One Saturday afternoon he was making homemade ice cream, which he loved. He noticed that the ice crystals were kind of large in homemade ice cream. So... he started to experiment with dripping his ice cream into liquid nitrogen. On the first attempt he burned his tongue because he didn't wait long enough to try the frigid prototype. After a few months of hard work Dippin' Dots were born.

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