Energy consumption by the dairy food industry in the United States constitutes 10% of all energy consumed by the U.S. food industry, and reducing energy consumption in cooling and refrigeration of foods plays an important role in meeting the challenge of the energy crisis. Hardening is an important and energy-intensive step in ice cream manufacturing. This work presents Finite Element Method (FEM) investigation of the hardening process in ice cream manufacturing and assesses the accuracy and acceptability of the presented FEM methods. The FEM results are compared to experimentally data from the literature, and sources of variation including convection coefficient, bottom surface boundary condition and draw temperature are explored.

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