Most people know at least this about liquid nitrogen, it is super cold, creates cool smoke, and makes things flash frozen and brittle. We all have seen the science geek on TV dip the rose into liquid nitrogen and then smash it on the table where it shatters into a million tiny pieces. This doesn’t seem to be a substance you would want to have any contact with your dinner but the combination of liquid nitrogen and food is actually a real application and food grade liquid nitrogen is being used in ever-growing amounts throughout the food and entertainment industries.
Liquid Nitrogen and Food?
That is where the extent of most people’s understanding of liquid nitrogen ends. So here are some more science facts to help bridge the gaps. The smokiness that everyone loves to see billowing over the sides of the container is cause by the nitrogen gas evaporating. Nitrogen, which commonly is found in a gas state, turns to a liquid when nitrogen molecules are compressed and cooled- this is achieved through a process that is known as condensation. Liquid nitrogen is cold, very, very cold. It has a temperate of -320 °F below zero, which will flash freeze anything that comes into contact with it- roses, apples, watermelons, tennis balls, steak, and even other liquids. Food grade liquid nitrogen is a real thing, though most people scoff at the idea of liquid nitrogen and food being used together. It is generally used to freeze food items at a rapid rate to maximize freshness and to prepare them for packaging and transport. Although it is most commonly applied to food in a preservation and storage manner it can also be used in foods that are to be consumed to create new foods and to present foods in a new and interesting way! These are just some of the ways food grade liquid nitrogen can be used:
Ice Cream Made Better
Ice cream is a popular cold treat that can take time to make, especially if you do it the old-fashioned way with a hand crank- but when you want ice cream in bulk and when you need it made quickly, food grade liquid nitrogen is the way to go. Not surprisingly, many local ice cream parlors and other industries that use ice cream in large quantities are specializing in the use of liquid nitrogen to prepare their ice cream. With the traditional method of making ice cream the freezing of the milk causes ice crystals to form and expand which give ice cream a somewhat grainy texture. When liquid nitrogen is used, the process creates much smaller crystals which yields a smoother and creamier finished product. Liquid nitrogen and food applications can unlock amazing options that were not available before and can yield stunning end results. As the use of food grade liquid nitrogen becomes more popular and more people realize how versatile and amazing it is, you will likely see it around more often. This is one of the big reasons this method of production is growing in popularity- it is quick, easy, and delicious!
Freezing Ingredients With Ease
Over the past few years, many chefs and professional kitchen masters have been advancing the food industry, especially when it comes to catering and high-end meal preparation by experimenting with molecular gastronomy. It sounds fancy and even a little scary but this is a specialized process that is used as a modern method of transforming food into different shapes, textures and tastes – the goal is to mix science with food ingredients in order to get the end result of a unique dining experience. Making ice cream with liquid nitrogen has been a growing trend, but another venue for liquid nitrogen within the food industry is using it to freeze ingredients for meal application. If you were to stick a raspberry in the freezer and then try to pull apart the individual segments it would turn to mush because of the way it was frozen. But when frozen in liquid nitrogen each segment can be broken apart and raspberry droplets can be created and used in the meal décor and decorations. The same goes for a host of any other ingredient that could be flash frozen and then used in a way that would not have been possible before- honey can be frozen and then ground into a powder, bananas can be frozen and cut into super thin slices or into unique shapes, and chocolate can be frozen and shaved into delicate curls and spirals. The options are almost endless when it comes to fruit and ingredient applications within the food industry.
The Best Choice for Freezing and Chilling Food
Liquid nitrogen is a consistent and effective method for generating unique food and drink creations within the food industry. The liquid gas is being more and more frequently used throughout the food industry and people are falling in love with the results. Many people show some reservation when they first hear about liquid nitrogen and food being used together but once they understand the process and what the end results can be used for it quickly becomes clear that this is the way of the future! As more restaurants, bars, caterers, and high end chefs begin to incorporate food grade liquid nitrogen into their meal prep, more people will come to understand how super cool liquid nitrogen really is! If you want to learn more about liquid nitrogen and what it can do for your business and how you can begin applying it, give us a call. We would love to work with you and help you discover food grade liquid nitrogen for yourself. Call us, check out our website, or come by and see us if you are in the area! You will be glad that you did!