How This Pod-Based Ice Cream Machine Can Reduce Carbon Emissions

You may soon be able to make ice cream at home, within less than two minutes, and with minimal hassle — at least that is what ColdSnap claims to be able to offer. The company recently unveiled its proprietary creation: a pod machine that can make soft-serve ice cream, iced coffee, smoothies, frozen yogurt, cocktails, and protein shakes. However, this can't be done with just any product, as the pod machine only works with ColdSnap's own cans.

Think of the device like a reverse Keurig coffee maker that freezes things instead of heating them up — it even looks similar and probably takes up around the same amount of space. This rather unassuming machine was designed to simplify the process of making ice cream for the end-user, and as a result, reduce carbon emissions involved in said process. It's also meant to be a lot quicker than currently available methods of making ice cream at home, and most of all, storing the products would no longer require a freezer. This is because ColdSnap does all the freezing by itself, creating a serving of ice cream from a product that was previously not even cold.

Of course, being able to do this at home opens up a lot of potential for the creative dessert maker, and could potentially save you money in the long run — after all, those few dollars spent on an iced coffee every now and then have an alarming tendency to add up. By the sound of it, there are benefits all around, but just how useful is the ColdSnap machine going to be when it's fully released to the consumer market?

ColdSnap hopes to make ice cream an eco-friendly affair

ColdSnap details the benefits of its technology on its own website, referring to a "cold chain," which is basically the whole ice cream/frozen produce supply chain that involves a lot of extra steps compared to transporting something like a bag of potatoes. The company states that it has a commitment to sustainability, and as such, it aims to simplify things not just for the customer, but for the industry. This may help ColdSnap avoid the same sort of criticism Keurig has faced over the amount of waste produced by coffee pods.

Making, shipping, and storing ice cream is a lot of hassle and involves a lengthy process with an equally long supply chain. Once your favorite ice cream makes it through the entire journey, you have to rush it home from the store in order to not let it melt, and then be sure to quickly put it back in the freezer once you serve yourself. Even then, it may lose some of its quality somewhere along the way and start melting, or on the contrary — it may be frozen solid and difficult to scoop. ColdSnap claims that using its proprietary device will result in an up to 50% reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional methods of making and distributing ice cream.

It seems that ColdSnap is eager to solve several issues at once by introducing its new "pod" machine. We're putting "pod" in quotes because the device doesn't actually use pods, but it works in a very similar way to such devices (like the aforementioned Keurig). ColdSnap invented its own specialty aluminum cans that are fully recyclable and will replace the pod technology we're familiar with. These cans will presumably only work with the device for the time being. The produce found inside the cans, be it soft-serve ice cream or a future frozen protein shake, is not ready to eat straight out of the container and will need to be placed in the machine in order for you to serve up some dessert.

The device sounds interesting, but it could get pricey

The company promises that making ice cream (or any other product from ColdSnap's lineup) is super simple and the machine doesn't even need to be cleaned after you're done. Simply pick out what you'd like to eat or drink and place the can inside the machine. A few minutes later, your single serving of dessert will be frozen and ready to eat, while the remaining "pod" can be recycled in the same way as any other aluminum can.

The product is delivered directly from the can into your bowl or bottle, meaning that the machine won't ever require any cleaning on the inside, according to the company. It's hard to deny that it sounds dreamy, but before you get carried away by planning out the perfect dessert, let's think about this for a moment.

ColdSnap is yet to announce the release date for the machine, although it does imply that it hopes to first launch the product in the commercial sector — think cafes and restaurants. Even when it does make it to our kitchens in our own homes, there's a question of just how expensive this device is going to be. The answer is: probably pretty expensive, at least according to the BBC, and for a while yet (if not forever), it will rely on ColdSnap's own cans in order to be useful. If these cans are priced too high, you might be stuck with an expensive device that requires even more expensive ice cream in order to work.

While ColdSnap likely won't be for everyone and may not appeal to the masses right away, no one can complain about the company's wish to make the cold chain more eco-friendly. Let us just hope it will be affordable enough for regular consumers to buy.