Lecture 5 – The ice cream that will freeze granny

From the 2002 autumn print programme:

What connects creating the perfect tasting ice cream with bringing people back to life after cryogenic freezing?

Creating ice cream that will re-freeze time after time, but still remains as tasty as the day it was made, is a major culinary conundrum.

The problem requires all kinds of chemical trickery- from making sure the food keeps its flavour and fragrance to how much air it retains. But what are flavours and scents, and how are they experienced?

Raw potatoes are horrible, but chips taste great, so what does cooking do to the food, and how does it alter the molecules in the potatoes?

By studying food at this molecular level, we may be able to create the perfect tasting menu. New ways of conjuring up this faultless cuisine may come from the most unlikely places.

Serving up the perfect ice cream may depend on understanding how Arctic fishes stop themselves from freezing in their icy homes.

But if we can mimic this seemingly magical feat, could we do far more than make the perfect raspberry ripple? Might we be able to cryogenically freeze your granny and then defrost her back to her radiant self again, just like the perfect ice cream?

The final lecture explores the chemistry of food, life and death. 

Supported by




Tony Ryan



All lectures in the series