Ice cream beads are small, individual pellets of ice cream in a variety of flavors and colors. Multiple flavors can therefore be poured directly into the mouth, which the companies say provide the benefit of resulting in less mess and a more unique, novel and sensory experience. MolliCoolz, which manufactures frozen treats such as ice cream beads and sherbet beads, claims to be apioneer in using cryogenic freezing for use in frozen treats, but needed help in improving the stability of its products. During cryogenic freezing, the MolliCoolz product is frozen at a temperature far below its actual freezing point. This allows the beads to be free flowing at normal ice cream temperatures. However, at a warmer temperature, there was the risk that the beads would melt and fuse together. The company approached Cargill last January for help in finding a solution, on the basis of its technical expertise and experience in cryogenic manufacturing methods. "Cargill had been experimenting with and developing manufacturing methods around cryogenics for some time," said John Sweeney, beverage applications team leader for Cargill. Cargill provided the Daritech stabilizer, which is a texturizing system specifically designed to deliver a wide variety of functionalities, including mouthfeel, flavor release, textural stability, improved shelf life, processing and finished product viscosity control, and freeze/thaw stability. "Cargill had the technical expertise that no other supplier had, and MolliCoolz had a way to commercialize it. Together we developed a solution to make both retailers and consumers happy." "The merging of Cargill's formulation and ingredients with MolliCoolz manufacturing technology came together perfectly to execute what retailers and consumers want - ice cream beads that are shelf stable in the freezer," said Bryan Freeman, president of MolliCoolz. "Cargill turned out to already have the technology, formulation capabilities, ingredients and know-how to help us do just that, in a very short period of time." Packaged Facts' market researchers estimate the US market for ice cream and related frozen desserts reached $23.3bn in 2007, up 4 per cent from $22.4bn in 2006, and up 12.8 per cent from almost $20.7bn in 2003.