Ice Machine Applications

Ice machines can play an essential role in most any foodservice operation. Here is a closer look at some of the common applications of ice machines in today's foodservice industry.

The most common foodservice uses of ice include cooling drinks (cube and nugget ice) and displaying food (flake ice). But thanks to the growing popularity of smoothies, blended coffee drinks and other menu items, ice is becoming more popular as an ingredient, too.

Cubes, in the various configurations, remain the most popular forms of ice due to their flexibility. Foodservice operators can use ice cubes to cool certain food items, chill beverages and to serve as an ingredient in blended drinks.

Because it is chewable and takes on the flavor of the beverage some foodservice operators are turning to nugget ice to cool their beverages and differentiate their businesses from the competition. While evaluating whether to do this it is important to realize that nugget ice tends to be 80 percent to 90 percent ice, which means it melts faster than cube ice and can subsequently water down a beverage.

Flake ice tends to be 70 percent to 80 percent ice and the rest water, which makes it easy to use when stocking food displays or cooling other menu items.

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