Inside the Food Labs

A tantalizing tour of the secretive kitchens where culinary scientists fine-tune the flavors, architecture and, yes, mouth feel of tomorrow's hit foods

There are a lot of different factors Micheale Kester has to juggle when she invents your next scoop of ice cream. Right now she's not as concerned about flavor or texture--although those are important--as she is about architecture. Kester, a food technologist in the Burbank, Calif., labs of ice cream giant Baskin-Robbins, has been fooling around with an idea for a flavor she calls Cinnamon Bun, but first she has to make sure the stuff will hold together. If you're not careful with the size and number of your chips, nuts or bun bits--what the ice cream techies call inclusions--even the...

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