What Are Ice Cream Dots?

A. Leverkuhn
A. Leverkuhn
Ice cream dots are often sold at shopping malls.
Ice cream dots are often sold at shopping malls.

Ice cream dots are specialized dairy products that are made into tiny balls and frozen for a particular texture and taste. These small food items come in many different brands. Some describe them as small, cold beads of ice cream or tiny bits of ice cream frozen in specific ways.

Manufacturers rely on a specific kind of processed to make ice cream dots. Many makers of these sorts of ice cream products use liquid nitrogen to achieve a process that some call flash freezing. Makers subject the dairy products to extremely low temperatures, as low as 320 degrees Fahrenheit. This changes the texture of the food, and preserves it for shipping.

In addition to the specific equipment needed for the manufacturing of ice cream dots, retailers who sell these foods also need to have specific environments for storing them. Experts suggest that these items should be kept at a maximum of -40° Fahrenheit/Celsius. This means that only specific retailers have the means to offer these products to consumers; some of the common places where ice cream dots can be found include movie theaters, shopping malls, and other high-end commercial retail installations. Not all shoppers understand that ice cream dots and similar products will not usually be sold in supermarkets, which generally do not have the specific freezers needed.

Aside from simple dots, some companies have experimented with different kinds of frozen ice cream. One idea is a frozen drink where users can add milk to the frozen dairy products and create a milkshake or other beverage. Ice cream dots and similar products represent the cutting edge of what dessert makers can do with advanced freezing technology, and the various new products are often interesting to product reviewers and others writing about the food industry.

Along with the specific chemical processes for making ice cream dot products, food companies are using other technology to present these small bits in a wide variety of flavors. Many of the flavoring elements for ice cream dots are not natural flavorings, but highly synthesized blends of sugar and other flavors that can mimic other natural foods. For instance, ice cream dots can come in flavors like cotton candy, coffee or banana split, where artificial flavors may be used to create the taste sensation of many types of food products.

Discussion Comments


I've recently seen vending machines that make the ice cream dots while you wait. The liquid nitrogen is already loaded, and the selected ice cream base gets injected into the freezing chamber. The pellets drop into a cup at the bottom of the vending machine. I thought at first it just dispensed pre-frozen dots, but it actually flash freezes the mix while you watch.


I remember when these ice cream dots first came out. They were advertised as the "ice cream of the future". I thought they were good as a novelty item, but I wasn't sure if they would become a big hit or not. Eating pellets of ice cream out of a cup with a spoon was a lot easier than holding a traditional ice cream cone and licking the melting ice cream, though.

One thing I like to do whenever I see one of those ice cream dot stores is mix and match flavors. I can ask the server to put some chocolate and peanut butter dots in the same cup, or go crazy and get all of the fruit flavors in one bowl.

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    • Ice cream dots are often sold at shopping malls.
      By: gemenacom
      Ice cream dots are often sold at shopping malls.