The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation-sponsored Chemistry ShortsTM series released its newest film, “Frosty Formulations,” which explores the surprising science behind one of the world’s favorite desserts: ice cream. The film is available for immediate viewing and use in teaching free of charge on the Chemistry Shorts YouTube channel.

In “Frosty Formulations,” Ice Cream ScientistTM Dr. Maya Warren takes us down to the microscopic level to discuss how ice cream is a solid, liquid, and gas all at once, and how the combination of those three states gives it its distinctive texture.

But, that’s not all. The film dives deeper into the key steps in making ice cream that allow suspended fat globules to partially coalesce like soap bubbles: with the addition of an emulsifier, cold temperature, and friction from the churning ice cream maker. Without all of these steps, combined in just the right way, the complicated chemistry of ice cream wouldn’t form the same beloved treat!

“Chemistry has opened up the possibilities and opportunities in my life in ways I would’ve never even imagined. Being able to have something like ice cream and being able to relate that to my first love, which is chemistry, has been able to allow me to see life in a completely different way.” – Dr. Maya Warren in “Frosty Formulations.”

“Frosty Formulations” is aimed at high school to college students and can be used as a starting point for discussions around emulsions, hydrophobicity/ hydrophilicity, and states of matter. A full lesson plan with an experiment to accompany the film is available on the Chemistry Shorts website.

The Chemistry Shorts series spotlights the positive impact of chemistry on modern life as scientists work to solve important problems and create new opportunities that benefit humanity. See all of the films and lesson plans in this series at and keep updated on new films and resources by following Chemistry Shorts on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

The Chemistry Shorts series is funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.