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Collaborative Success Stories: Here’s the Scoop


ice cream

I dream, you dream, we all dream of healthy ice cream.

The United States is the leading consumer of ice cream in the world. But with health issues on the rise, ice cream research—conducted nationwide for decades—has become increasingly important.

The University of Missouri is a long-standing leader in the field. In 1940, MU professor Wendell Arbuckle published his dissertation on the microscopic structure of ice cream, making headlines amongst dairy researchers. Fifty years later, as consumers began focusing on nutrition, MU scientists pioneered research on low-fat ice cream. Their work enabled the ice cream industry to create the low-fat ice cream we eat today.

Mizzou’s present-day ice cream research centers on creating “functional” ice cream. Associate professor of food chemistry Ingolf Gruen leads a team striving to add fiber, antioxidants and yogurt-like probiotic bacteria to frozen desserts. The goal? To produce ice cream that can actually provide health benefits.

“Food provides calories and comfort—people want to indulge,” says Gruen. “We’re working on making ice cream satisfying and healthy.”

Dr. Ingolf Gruen is associate professor in MU’s Division of Food Systems and Bioengineering, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

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Related Initiative(s):
Food for the Future, One Health/One Medicine,