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On The Farm

Inside Scoop: How Ice Cream is Made

Ice cream cone ready for a scoop of Howling Cow at The Creamery in DH Hill Library. Play Video

Science is sweet, literally. If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of ice cream (or cone, we don’t judge), then you’ve experienced it firsthand. And if you’re unsure where the science comes into play, just swing by NC State University’s Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab in Schaub Hall one day.

In addition to bags of sugar and barrels of cream, you’ll find Carl Hollifield and a team of scientists — that’s right, scientists — churning out tubs of custom ice cream concoctions like Cherry Brick Road™ and Campfire Delight™, along with perennial favorites like chocolate and vanilla.

Carl is assistant director for Howling Cow®, NC State’s own ice cream brand, which has been made on campus for more than 70 years and now includes 16 flavors of the sweet stuff.

Howling Cow uses milk from over 300 cows at NC State’s dairy farm to produce 1,000 gallons of ice cream each week.

So how do they make all of that creamy, dreamy ice cream?

“It’s more like an art,” according to Carl. There’s a swirl of creativity, a sprinkle of trial and error, and a splash of technical innovation. A few chunks of cookie dough and chocolate chips come in handy, too.

We visited Carl and Howling Cow to get the inside scoop on how this ridiculously delicious dessert is developed. Watch our latest segment, “Inside Scoop: How Ice Cream Is Made,” for a behind-the-scenes look at the sweet science of ice cream production.

Extra Toppings

Cherry on Top

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