Maudine’s Berry Patch ice cream sold on campus
By Tracy Turner
COLUMBUS, Ohio—I scream, you scream, we all scream for Maudine’s Berry Patch ice cream!
Or maybe the ice cream flavor you prefer is coffee walnut, matcha white chocolate, blueberry lavender, oatmeal cream, or even good old vanilla.
Those are just some of the ice cream flavors created during the past two years by students in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). And some of that ice cream is now being sold in two locations on Ohio State’s Columbus campus.
Students in a dairy processing class taught by Professor Rafael Jimenez-Flores, holder of the J.T. “Stubby” Parker Chair in Dairy Foods in the CFAES Department of Food Science and Technology (FST), developed the ice cream varieties from scratch to final product as part of their coursework.
Working in teams, students created the ice cream samples in the Dairy Processing Pilot Plant in CFAES’ Parker Food Science and Technology Building, evaluated them based on important traits such as processability and sweetness, then narrowed the list down to the tastiest contenders. Also part of the creation process, students refined their ice cream prototypes—weighing considerations such as melt characteristics, food safety, and optimal flavor—before arriving at their final formulations.
The flavors that won out and are now being sold at the Union Market at the Ohio Union and in the Parker Dairy Store include strawberry; chocolate; peanut butter with chocolate cookie chunks; pumpkin patch; and The Morning Scoop, which is flavored with maple swirl and contains waffle bits and candied walnuts, said Matthew Chrusciel, a graduate student in FST who also serves as the ice cream manager for Ohio State.
In Jimenez-Flores’ dairy processing class, students learn the science of how to create ice cream from scratch, and they get a lesson in the mass production of ice cream for commercial sales, including working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) to get the correct permits and approvals to sell the product to the public, said Chrusciel.
“You have to get inspected by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and turn in your ice cream formulas and recipes for approval before you can even start selling,” he said. “So, once we had all that nailed down, we started developing flavors, and we now plan to sell two different flavors of ice cream on campus every month for the next couple of months.”
The first two ice cream flavors, which are sold in 4-ounce cups for $3.50 by Ohio State Dining Services, were released Nov. 4, and six cases of the ice cream sold out in less than a month, Chrusciel said.
The first three flavors created and now sold on campus are vanilla, microground coffee, and Maudine’s Berry Patch—the last of which is flavored with wild berries and hibiscus, and lemon, Jimenez-Flores said. The name of the ice cream honors Ohio State’s 1926 homecoming queen, a world record milk-producing Holstein cow called Maudine Ormsby.
The homage to Maudine is fitting considering Jimenez-Flores’ students visit the Jersey dairy cows living at CFAES’ Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory on Ohio State’s Columbus campus to gain a better understanding of where ice cream ingredients are sourced. The goal is for students to learn about and have an appreciation of agricultural production, Jimenez-Flores said.
“Most of the students in my class live in cities and haven’t been to a dairy farm, which is one of the reason’s they’ve taken my class,” he said. “Students are then instructed on fermentations that we use for scientific technical analysis of the food products, because my motto for this class is ‘we need to know how we know what we know.’
“Students also learn how to make other dairy products including yogurt, cheese, butter, milk powder, and whey protein concentrate. In addition to the technical and the processing steps in dairy production, students also learn about the global economy in the dairy industry.”
“I’m proud my students come out of my classes thoroughly prepared for the workforce”Professor Rafael Jimenez-Flores
Another advantage for the students is the access they have to hands-on learning in CFAES’ dairy processing plants, which are U.S. Food and Drug Administration- and ODA-inspected to meet safety and sanitation needs. The mobility of equipment in the facilities allows for rearrangement to desired product flow patterns, which in turn allows the plants to be used as teaching and demonstration areas, said Jimenez-Flores.
In addition, current processing technologies and procedures are used in the plants, and with minor modifications, the spaces can function as research facilities for probing new concepts and procedures, said Jimenez-Flores, who has taught over 200 Ohio State students in the class throughout the past seven years.
“We have state-of-the-art equipment: cream separator, butter maker, membrane filtration, evaporator, and spray dryer. So, students get to witness something that when they work in the dairy industry, they’re not going to be intimidated,” he said. “I’m proud my students come out of my classes thoroughly prepared for the workforce.”
Being prepared for a career is one of the reasons Ankur Upadhyay, a graduate student from India, enrolled in the dairy processing class. During a class this week, Upadhyay was among the students who presented their final ice cream flavor productions before a panel of expert judges. Styled after the popular TV show “The Great British Bake Off,” the class required that the ice creams be judged to see which student’s flavor was rated the best of the bunch.
Upadhyay’s team created a coffee walnut ice cream inspired by a flavor popular in India.
“I took this class because I wanted to learn more about the dairy industry because it’s the biggest industry in the food sector,” Upadhyay said. “I loved it. It was really nice making the ice cream, and everyone on the team agreed with the flavor.
“We were, like, testing the flavor of the ice cream mix, and, you know, do we need to add more walnuts or less? Do we want to add whole walnuts or grind the walnuts?”
“The best part of the class is getting hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instruments”Ankur Upadhyay, a graduate student from India, enrolled in the dairy processing class
So, what was the winning formula the team decided to present to the judges?
“We decided that we wanted to grind the walnuts and also add some on the top of the ice cream so that people, when they taste it, they have the walnut flavor first and then the coffee flavor suddenly kicks in,” he said. “The best part of the class is getting hands-on experience with state-of-the-art instruments.
“You really learn when you have experience on learning with this equipment. And that’s what I love about this course.”
Shoshanna Gingsburg, a PhD student in the dairy processing plant, agrees.
And what did the judges think?
“All the flavors were very interesting and exotic,” said Dennis Heldman, a professor in FST and one of the judges. “The winning flavor came across as something different, with a blend of flavors that was very interesting and brought out a positive reaction when eating it.”