A Brief History and Present of Ice

in ice •  3 months ago 

Ice was one of the most profitable business industries in the USA at one time. In today’s context, this might feel absurd. However, during the 19th century, making ice in one’s home was highly uncommon and unthinkable. People used to procure ice from the local ice plants.

Frederic Tudor sold ice by collecting them from frozen ponds, lakes, and rivers. He stored them in icehouses and then during summers he shipped that ice down south. However, this business model had significant flaws. Although almost 50,000 tons of natural ice was shipped across several states of USA in 1847, the ice melts en route and reduced in weight. That happened because the ice was transported within wood cartons and sawdust.  

In 1851, the first ice-making machine was invented by Floridian John Gorrie. This invention was revolutionising at the time because that was the first instance when humans could artificially produce cold with the help of ‘artificial’ ice.

The working of ice making machines

As far as ice making is concerned, the process begins with the emission of a refrigerant gas within a set of small coils. This emission produces pressure, which causes the temperature to increase.

This hot refrigerant gas moves toward a series of higher width tubes within the system. When the gas cools down, it begins to condensate. The condensed liquid within the coils is then taken to an evaporator. It is generally made of stainless steel with a double discharge design.

The evaporator receives a constant flow of water over its head, and that is what makes ice. The ice-making machines usually come with filters. It is because the adequate temperature at which water becomes ice is 32-degree Fahrenheit. In case, the water contains any impurities; the ice-making process is adversely affected.

The ice cubes made are then elaborated with the use of evaporators. The ices are shaped when they fall into dispensers which have different pre-set shapes. They are then brought out of the machine from there.

The shape of ice

Ice presently comes in different shapes and sizes. Each has their purpose: it can be either to cool drinks, chewing, or for display.

Regular cube:

It is also known as large cubes. These cubes are ideal for bagging or dispensing ice. They are perfect for use in bars and restaurants. Owing to their large size these cubes provide maximum cooling. They also have lower melting points, which help save costs.

Full cube:

It is also known as dice ice. This shape is utilised for bagging and dispensing and in bars and restaurants as well. It is also used in convenience stores and catering businesses. Full cubes have a uniform shape giving them a clean look. It has a low melting point, as well as making it cost-effective.

Nugget ice:

These shapes are ideal for cocktails, smoothies, etc. Nugget ice is also perfect for chewing. Given their soft texture, they quickly break when chewed. It is also a popular choice for cocktails and chewing because they readily absorb the flavours of drinks. They smoothly blend with the juices and cool them.

These shapes are only a handful of the many there are. The ice making machines are therefore highly regarded by the food and beverage industry. Refrigerators are also known to make ice; however, in that case, the quality is compromised.

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