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Ice Morphology: Fundamentals and Technological Applications in Foods
Abstract and Figures
Freezing is the process of ice crystallization from supercooled water. Ice crystal morphology plays an important role in the textural and physical properties of frozen and frozen-thawed foods and in processes such as freeze drying, freeze concentration, and freeze texturization. Size and location of ice crystals are key in the quality of thawed tissue products. In ice cream, smaller ice crystals are preferred because large crystals results in an icy texture. In freeze drying, ice morphology influences the rate of sublimation and several morphological characteristics of the freeze-dried matrix as well as the biological activity of components (e.g., in pharmaceuticals). In freeze concentration, ice morphology influences the efficiency of separation of ice crystals from the concentrated solution. The cooling rate has been the most common variable controlling ice morphology in frozen and partly frozen systems. However, several new approaches show promise in controlling nucleation (consequently, ice morphology), among them are the use of ice nucleation agents, antifreeze proteins, ultrasound, and high pressure. This paper summarizes the fundamentals of freezing, methods of observation and measurement of ice morphology, and the role of ice morphology in technological applications. KeywordsIce-Crystal morphology-Freezing-Freeze drying-Freeze concentration-Microstructure
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