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CNET News Video: High-tech ice cream

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CNET News Video: High-tech ice cream

2:16 /

"Fresh" isn't usually a word you hear when it comes to ice cream. But technology is changing the way this good old-fashioned treat can be made. Instead of having dozens of vats of frozen premade flavors, one San Francisco ice cream parlor whips up your order while you wait. Sumi Das shows us the special machine and technique that turns the ingredients from liquid to an ice cream scoop in about a minute.

-Ice cream is a centuries old dessert but in San Francisco, it's taken on a high-tech twist at ice cream shop, Smitten. Founder Robyn Sue Fisher uses a somewhat unconventional ingredient. -Liquid nitrogen which is an inert element and its negative 321 degrees Fahrenheit. -That triple digit chill changes how the ice cream tastes and feels in your mouth. -The colder you freeze a product, the smaller the ice crystals can be, and the smaller the ice crystals are, the smoother the texture is. -While most ice cream is made with preservatives and stabilizers and frozen until served, Smitten is made without those extras on the spot. -You see the actual real organic dairy being poured into the bowl. You see the, you know, the berries right in front of you. You see the added elements of each flavor and you get to see the whole process being turned before your eyes from liquid into solid, into your finished ice cream. -This liquid nitrogen technique isn't unique to Smitten but this machine is. Dubbed the Brrr, it's the result of prototyping with engineers for two years. -The mixer manages to scrape every surface of itself such that the ice crystal is compressed to as small as possible, and we have very special DNA TLCs which are [unk], and then secondly, our machine also incorporates viscosity. So, it has internal brain software that can really understand what's happening to the product and knows when the product has its right consistency. -In true startup fashion, Smitten is trying to improve upon its hardware. Version 2.0 of the Brrr rolls out this fall. -We've also learned that different things, you know, have required more maintenance that others and also we're making so much ice cream that our machines are limited with their size. So, our next machines are a little bit bigger and a lot stronger and more robust in terms of eliminating maintenance and repairs. -The increase in size should shorten the weight for a double scoop of chocolate. Ice cream, you scream for that. In San Francisco, I'm Sumi Das, CNET.com for CBS News.

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