1. How One Squirrel Survives Being Frozen

    It's no secret that most mammals abhor the cold. They will hibernate or will migrate to warmer climates once temperatures drop below freezing. Science is still trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding the mammal that actually embraces the cold. The arctic ground squirrel is the only known mammal to tolerate subzero body temperatures. Figuring out how the squirrel accomplishes this feat could lead to breakthroughs in organ transplants, allowing the organs to be frozen without damaging them.

    When water freezes, it becomes ice. This presents a problem for most living creatures because when ice crystals form in the living cells of most creatures, they expand and rupture the cell. To survive freezing temperatures, animals must find a way to prevent water from freezing within their cells.

    Some animals, including frogs, turtles, and midges, produce a chemical similar to antifreeze within their bodies to prevent ice from forming. Another tactic is to produce ice nucleating compounds in the right place – between the cells – to encourage ice to form in that space and not within the cell.

    The Squirrel's Secret

    However, this isn't possible in the bodies of mammals. It is the absence of ice nucleating compounds that are the key to the ground squirrel's abilities.

    Before entering into a hibernating state, the arctic ground squirrel cleanse their bodies of any would-be ice nucleators. These nucleators can include small particles of dust and dirt that ice tends to form around. Without these nucleators present in the squirrel's bodies, ice simply cannot form.

    Whatever method is used to prevent freezing, it is evident that the process is a strain. Most animals can only pull off the feat once per year. When tested after the spring thaw, scientists found that even though they could still tolerate freezing temperatures, they could not survive the excessive freezing that they withstood during winter.

    Whatever the method of preventing ice crystals from forming and surviving freezing temperatures, the study of these animals can result in advances in science. These advances could possibly revolutionize organ transplantation. Currently, organs are kept cold, but not frozen and are viable for only a few hours. Figuring out the mysteries of how these animals survive sub-zero temperatures could mean longer viability in the freezing of organs intended for transplant.

  2. How to successfully add ice into your skincare routine


    DIY Ice Beauty Tips and Tricks

    Image courtesy of Fashionisers



    Ice… And beauty? Believe it or not, ice can be a miracle worker for your skin! Here’s how to utilize your chilly friend:


    1. Help your body cool down from that horrible sunburn you got on vacation - place ice cubes in a washcloth and hold over your sunburnt areas

    2. Ice sore muscles after a tough workout to help them relax and (hopefully) stay pain-free

    3. Put ice on your blisters to reduce swelling and irritation

    4. Hold an ice cube over your acne to help reduce inflammation and redness, and to help spots heal quicker

    5. Numb your eyebrows with an ice cube before plucking with tweezers or waxing to help reduce pain

  3. Ice-O-Matic Undercounter Ice Makers: A Trip Down Under

    Ice-O-Matic ICEU150 Underounter ice machine   In the past, we have focused on specific ice makers from Ice o’matic, but today we turn our focus to the three most popular undercounter ice makers available from Ice-o-matic: The ICEU150FA, the ICEU220FA, and the ICEU300FA. If you saw a picture of the three of these ice makers, you might not be able to notice any real differences. These ice undercounter ice machines do however, produce at different rates, hold different amounts of ice, and fit better in different environments or locations. Hopefully this article will serve to enlighten readers about Ice-o-matic’s three most popular undercounter ice makers, and then the reader can assess whether or not they are appropriate for their home, office, or business.

    Ice-O-Matic ICEU220 Undercounter Ice Maker   The ICEU150FA and ICEU220FA share the most similarities. In fact, these two undercounter ice makers share the exact same measurements, and their internal bins hold the same amount of ice, at 73 pounds. The difference between the ICEU150FA and ICEU220FA is in their production rates. The ICEU220FA produces ice at a greater rate per day, with the ability to produce up to 240 pounds of ice in a 24 hour period, or at about 10 pounds per hour. The ICEU150FA will produce up to 174 pounds of ice. Generally, when comparing or assessing ice makers, the three digit number in the middle will show around how much the ice maker is expected to produce on a daily basis.

    Both of these undercounter ice makers from Ice-O-matic measure a mere 24 inches wide and 39 inches tall, with the ability to fit under the standard bar counter. Given their size, and the fact that they are both in the undercounter class, their output is quite impressive. Other undercounter ice makers do not put out nearly these amounts of ice.

    Ice-O-Matic ICEU300 Undercounter Ice Maker   When we turn our attention to the ICEU300FA, we see the “grand daddy” of undercounter ice makers. Of all undercounter ice makers, this one makes the most ice. Ice-O-matic proudly and humbly presents this undercounter ice maker for those that need maximum ice production but can only sacrifice a small amount of space. The ICEU300FA, which also measures 39 inches tall, can produce a staggering 309 pounds of ice per day in ideal conditions. That is more ice than some cuber heads have the ability to produce, making the ICEU300FA one of the best and most efficient undercounter ice machines around.

     All of these undercounter ice makers from Ice-O-matic are ENERGY STAR qualified, and produce the standard full ice cube. They breathe and release air from the front of the machine, allowing them to fit seamlessly between other bar equipment. With the ICEU150FA, the ICEU220FA, and the ICEU300FA from Ice-O-matic, you have your choice of three incredible undercounter ice makers that will provide your home bar, or your business, a great amount of ice from a compact machine.

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  4. Hoshizaki F-330BAH Undercounter Flake Ice Machine

    Flake ice has a variety of uses. Because of its ability to be molded into any shape needed, flake ice serves well in applications such as displaying seafood and produce. It also has uses in laboratories, where it can be packed around medical containers that require refrigeration. Flake ice can also be made to cover a larger surface area, resulting in more rapid cooling. Flake ice is also idea for health care use, as it poses less choking risk and also lends itself well to treating sports injuries.

    The Hoshizaki F-330BAH is an air-cooled undercounter flake ice machine. Capable of producing up to 330-lbs of ice per 24-hour period, its built in storage bin can hold up to 80-lbs of flake ice when filled to capacity. This ensures that your business will always have enough flake ice on hand to meet moderate ice needs.

    Features of the Hoshizaki F-330BAH

    The F-330BAH is a space saving 24-inches wide and only 39-inches tall. This lends the unit to being able to be installed anywhere. The intake and discharge vents are located at the front of the machine, so there is no need for side clearances. The bin door drops down to allow for convenient access to the ice. All that is needed for installation is a 115-volt power outlet, an incoming water line, and a drain.

    The F-330BAH has an automatic flush system to promote longer life and dependability of the ice machine. It is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel. If hygiene and cleanliness are concerns, Hoshizaki has integrated H-GUARD Plus antimicrobial protection into all surfaces that contact water or ice. This helps to prevent slime and mold build-up in your ice machine.

    Hoshizaki also offers unparalleled warranty protection for its ice machines. The F-330BAH is protected by a 3-year warranty for parts and labor on the ice machine. The compressor comes with a 5-year warranty for parts.

    If your business needs flake ice, then the Hoshizaki F-330BAH undercounter flake ice machine is worthy of your consideration.



  5. Ice Farming Helps Local Economy

    When you hear the words 'ice farmer,' you might think about those people long ago who carved ice from rivers into blocks to be sold. Today, ice farmers actually create ice for people to climb. The sport has been around since the 1960s, but really began to take off in the '90s.

    The southwest Colorado town of Ouray has a population of just 1,000 residents, but it has become an international destination for athletes known as ice climbers. The city hosts one of the largest ice climbing parks in the world. There are nearly 200 different climbing routes and 17,000 vertical feet of climbing space.

    The people who create this climbing winter wonderland are known as 'ice farmers.' Each year, during the winter, they use a system of pipes, irrigation, and shower heads that are situated at the top of the gorge. They use these tools to create towering walls of ice.

    While there are several natural ice climbing destinations, there are now just a handful of man-made ice climbing destinations. Wyoming and Minnesota both have man-made ice climbing parks. However, Colorado's Ouray Park is the most popular of all.

    How Ice Farming Works

    Dan Chehayl, the operations manager at Ouray, described the process of ice farming.

    Ice farmers head out as soon as temperatures start dropping in November. They go out to a rock face or a cliff and either divert existing water sources or enhance them to focus the water in one area.

    Before they can start growing their crop, they must make sure that their equipment is in working order. They also have to “deveg” the local area, pruning vegetation and shrubbery that has grown up over the summer.

    The actual ice-making process begins by running water through the drains to saturate the cliffs so that the ground becomes colder so that it can bond with the ice that will begin to grow. Shower heads placed at various intervals are set to either a light or a heavy spray, to encourage different kinds of ice growth, based on need.

    The water used is runoff water, or overflow water from the city's water supply. That water can start running around November 20th and it can take up to a month and sometimes more before the ice is safe and sustainable enough to open to the public for climbing.

    If not for the climbing park, Ouray would be a ghost town during the winter. Before the ice park began to take off in the 90s, there was little to no economy. As the park grew and became more popular, a thriving tourism trade grew up along with it. Local businesses and the community as a whole rely heavily on the ice park to keep them going through the winter months.

  6. Need a New Ice Machine? Let Us Help!

    Do You Need A New Ice MachineIf your ice machine consistently looks like this, it may be time to find a new one for your business.

    If you own an ice machine, chances are you’ve asked this question at one point or another. Unfortunately, there is no simple, clear cut explanation for why your ice machine is not making ice. There are many factors that play a part in the ice making process, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong with your ice machine in its lifetime. Hopefully, with this guide, you will be able to identify the problem or problems facing your ice machine and you will be able to get your unit back to doing what it is supposed to do – making ice for you and your establishment. We separated these issues into two categories: External Factors and Human Errors. Some are easy to fix while some require additional time or resources, but with this list, you should be able to locate the problem and fix it accordingly.



    Temperature / Weather

    High Temperature Thermometer

    Temperature increases can kill your ice machine's production

    This issue is faced by those who allow their ice machine to operate in a commercial kitchen or any other high temperature areas of your establishment. When forced to operate under these conditions, your ice machine may struggle greatly. In fact, most ice machines are rated by their performance in 90 degree heat, and some can lose up to 30% of their ice production when making ice in elevated temperatures. During my years of bartending, (although our ice machine made use of a remote air cooled condenser) we would always notice a dip in ice production when it became excessively hot (95+ degrees over a few days). When the air temperature is too high, water temperatures often increase, and your ice machine requires more time to bring the water to acceptable levels for ice making. This can slow ice making or bring it to what seems like a standstill. For this reason, it helps to purchase an ice machine that makes more ice than you will require on a daily basis.


    Improper Clearance

    Almost every air cooled ice machine head and undercounter ice machine requires six inches of clearance for optimum ice making. Manitowoc ice machines advise more, with eight inches as the recommended value. If your ice machine does not have the proper amount of room to operate, it will not be able to take in air to keep the condenser cool. If the condenser is not cool, your ice machine’s ice making power will suffer. Dust and dirt gathered on your condenser coils can also affect ice machine performance, but we will address this later at a greater length. You should always adhere to the minimum clearance recommended by the ice machine manufacturer to get the most out of your ice machine.

    Ice / Minerals on Evaporator Plate

    Sometimes, mineral deposits will affect the way ice is harvested after being created on the evaporator plate. Ice may continue to grow and thicken as your evaporator plate cannot warm efficiently enough to drop your ice into the bin. Generally, lower quality water can leave behind mineral or scale deposits, and those can build up on your evaporator plate. If these issues are left unattended, your ice machine may continue to produce ice, but it will often be thin, watery, and of low quality. In most cases, a thorough cleaning will solve these problems. If you haven’t already, you should consider adding a water filter to your ice machine, which will greatly reduce (if not completely eliminate) the amount of sediment and minerals in the water used for ice making. Your evaporator plate is one of the most important pieces of your ice machine, so it should be cared for accordingly.

    Scale Buildup

    As water travels from the clouds, through the soil, and eventually into your ice machine, it may pick up small, microscopic minerals along the way. When this water runs through your ice machine, these mineral deposits can be left along way, and can build up over time. In doing so, your ice machine will create ice less efficiently. Scale buildup is one of the most common causes of machine malfunction. Everpure provides more information on scale buildup, and details how to identify which minerals are most present in your water. Scale buildup can be minimized and prevented with a proper water filter, and it can be removed with any of the scale removal products found at Ice Machines Plus as well.

    Dirty Condenser

    Dust on Ice Machine Condenser The dust on this condenser is inhibiting airflow to the ice machine

    The condenser coils can be found behind the vents on the sides or top of your ice machine (air cooled models). Through these vents, warm air is filtered out and away from your ice machine to allow it to make ice with greater ease and to keep the unit cool. These coils however, can collect dust, dirt, and grease which can inhibit the transfer of heat away from the ice machine. In the case of dust and dirt, you can easily wipe them away with a moist towel with little effort. If it is grease buildup, a deeper clean may be warranted, usually one that makes use of a cleaning solution or chemical if the situation is exceptionally bad.

    Water Issues

    Obviously, water is required to make ice. So, if your ice machine is not making ice, you may need to check that your water supply is adequately connected and providing water to your ice machine. If the water is warmer, it may take longer for your ice machine to create ice. The optimal temperature for water used in your ice machine is 50 degrees Fahrenheit.


    Ice Machine Programming or Settings are Off

    Programming Indigo Ice Machine

    While some of your problems can be chalked up to a faulty unit or other external problems, human error may also play a role in your ice machine’s performance. Some ice machines (notably Scotsman’s and Manitowoc’s) can be programmed to make ice on a schedule or to not make ice when it is not required. If your ice machine was set to rest or sleep for a certain amount of time, it is quite possible that someone forgot or neglected to adjust the settings back to ‘ice making’ mode. These settings can be adjusted rather simply however and your ice machine should get back to making ice in little time.

    Ice Machine Not Plugged In

    Well, this one is a head slapper. You checked all of the previous problems we listed and then you saw the plug resting on the ground behind the ice machine, or that the ice machine was simply turned off! Whether someone tripped over the cord and it was pulled from its socket or your ice machine was unplugged or turned off by someone with malicious intent is for you to find out, but for now, plug it back in and get back to making the ice that your customers need!

    Hopefully, upon finishing this list, you will have found the cause of and solution to your problem and your ice machine is once again making ice. If the problem was internal, you may want to consider a water filter from our water filter store, or any of our scale reducing products. If your ice machine is still not making ice, you may have to search locally for a repair person, which may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. In these cases, it is best to assess your options and consider the cost of repairs versus the cost of a new ice machine. In that latter case, we will be able to provide you with the ice machine that best suits your business, so do not hesitate to give us a call!

  7. Countertop Ice Makers Offer Nugget Ice Anywhere

    Scotsman Leads the Way with the MDT Series

    If you’ve never considered the ways in which ice can positively or negatively affect your business, then you probably haven’t done a great deal of research. In our March Madness “Best Ice Ever” Tournament, we proved that there are clearly some ice styles that are preferred over others.  Nugget Ice (known affectionately as Sonic Ice and Hospital Ice by its followers) is the preferred ice of the people, and since it was created over 30 years ago by Scotsman Ice Systems, this ice has grown in popularity at an incredible rate. Scotsman now offers more countertop ice makers that make and dispense nugget ice than ever before, and owning one can be greatly beneficial to your establishment.

    Countertop ice makers differ from standard ice machines and undercounter ice makers in a few ways. They make, store, and dispense ice from one compact unit. Though they are smaller, they generally have the ability to create a great deal of ice per day (500+ pounds) because they are constantly creating ice as it is dispensed. Most countertop ice makers dispense water too, and all of the following ice makers mentioned in this article are operated “hands-free”. Users simply place a glass or container beneath the appropriate spout and ice or water is dispensed automatically. Countertop ice makers are not flawless however, as they offer very limited storage space. These units cannot house hundreds of pounds of ice that commercial ice bins have the ability to store.

    The following countertop ice makers are perfect for cafeterias, offices, health care facilities, hospitals, and cafes. These units are incredibly versatile since they do not need a lot of room to operate effectively. Here are Scotsman’s top countertop ice makers:

    Scotsman MDT2C12A Countertop Cubelet Ice MakerMDT2C12A

    This countertop ice maker is classified as a “cubelet ice maker”. This ice form is similar to nugget ice in size, shape, and texture. Cubelet ice is a bit harder than nugget ice however, and is not as well known for its chewable nature. The MDT2C12A-1A can make up to 273 pounds of ice per day and stores 12 pounds of ice when filled completely.  Users can select whether they want this countertop ice maker to dispense ice, water, or a combination of both. Unlike other ice makers from the MDT Series, this unit features one spout that serves water and ice. Other ice makers feature two spouts, which allows users the freedom to choose their ratio of ice to water. The MDT2C12A-1A measures less than 16 inches wide, making it one of the slimmest countertop ice makers available*.


    The MDT5N25A is one of Scotsman’s most popular countertop ice makers. It makes up to 523 pounds of nugget ice on a daily basis and stores 26 pounds when filled completely. The MDT5N25A measures 26 inches wide and stands 41 inches tall.* Unlike the ice maker mentioned above, the MDT5N25A features two spouts – one for dispensing ice, one for dispensing water, so users can choose how much ice and how much water they desire. Hands-free countertop ice makers like this improve sanitation as well since the user is not required to touch the machine to access the ice or water they desire, making them an excellent addition in the doctor’s office or hospital.


    This countertop ice maker is the next step up from the MDT5N25A. There are only a few differences between the MDT5N25A and the MDT5N40A however. Both make the same amount of nugget ice per day (523 pounds). The MDT5N40 can store a greater amount of ice with its 40 pound storage capacity, and it measures only a few inches taller than the MDT5N25A at 48.5 inches. The two measure the same width- 26 inches wide.* The larger storage capacity of the MDT5N40A is helpful if your ice maker sees a lot of its use at one point during the day (say, at lunchtime, or to start the day.) This way, more people are served, and fewer are left waiting for ice to be created.


    Scotsman MDT6N90 Countertop Ice Maker

    This countertop nugget ice maker is essentially “The Big One” from Scotsman, with the ability to make over 700 pounds of nugget ice in a 24 hour period. The MDT6N90A best suits establishments where the ice maker sees non-stop, round-the-clock use. Hospitals and health care facilities that are required to be in operation 24 hours a day will benefit greatly from this ice maker. The MDT6N90A also has the largest storage capacity out of any of these ice makers, with the ability to hold up to 90 pounds of nugget ice when filled to capacity. It is not incredibly large either, measuring 35 inches wide and 45.75 inches tall.

    *Note- Scotsman recommends that all of these countertop ice makers have at least six inches of clearance at the back, left, and right sides to create ice effectively. This allows air to be taken in and released freely, and promotes more consistent ice making. All of these countertop ice makers operate via a 115V electrical connection.

    If you require a countertop ice maker for your business, these Scotsman units are at the top of the line. The nugget ice produced is a customer favorite, and your employees will undoubtedly love the upgrade from the boring, square cube. If you lack counter space, consider adding the stand that Scotsman provides for these countertop ice makers, the DMS21S-B. Scotsman’s countertop ice makers make a great deal of ice on a daily basis, and require very little space to operate. Very few countertop ice makers compare to those from Scotsman’s MDT Series.

  8. The Top Earning Chefs

    The restaurant business can be tough, but those at the top definitely pull in a significant amount of cash! Hard work, persistence, star power, and of course, a passion for excellence is one thing that all three top earners have in common. With multiple restaurants and cookbook endorsements, as well as TV shows and licensed food ware, the sky the limit in terms of earnings for these chefs who made their name their brand and then drove that brand to great success: 1. Wolfgang Puck's estimated net worth is $400 million. An Australian native, Wolfgang worked as an apprentice in Paris before emigrating to the United States. His first restaurant was Ma Maison in Los Angeles.

    2. Jamie Oliver is worth around $150 million total. He started out at Antonio Carlucci's Neal's Yard Restaurant, where he was mentored by Gennaro Contaldo. He was spotted by the BBC several years later, which launched his show, "The Naked Chef," a well as his status as a celebrity.

    3. Gordon Ramsay got an accidental start to the culinary world. He opened Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in 1998. In 2001, the restaurant was the first owned by a person of Scottish descent to earn three Michelin stars. He is estimate to be worth $118 million.
  9. U-line’s CLR1215SOD-00A Ice Maker

    The temperatures have begun to warm up and the promise of spring being nearer has made many homeowners thinking about spending more time outside. An outdoor kitchen where meals can be prepared and guests can be entertained is at the top of the list of amenities that people are adding to their current home or looking for in new ones. Part of entertaining is being sure to have enough ice on hand to serve cold drinks to guests.

    U-line’s CLR1215SOD-00A ice maker is 15” wide and 34” -36” inches tall and plugs into an 115V outlet. While you can use this ice maker indoors, it’s UL rated for outdoor use and can make up to 60 pounds of clear ice every 24 hours. Even though most at-home entertaining situations won’t require quite that much ice at one time, this unit features a bin that can store up to 30 pounds of ice. The best part about top hat or gourmet clear ice that this machine makes is that it takes a longer time to melt so you use less. That means less dilution and better tasting mixed and soft drinks.

    The Beauty of U-Line

    U-line has styled this ice maker to look impressive with a stainless steel body and has a reversible door. The door features a brushed stainless steel finish and stainless steel door handle. Digital touchpad controls are mounted in a position that is easy to access and set. U-line has also installed a P60 drain pump at the factory so it’s ready to go. The legs are adjustable so you can fit it under a counter or use it as a stand-alone, no additional clearance is required around top, rear or sides of this ice maker.

    This ice maker is LED lit on the inside and also included is a heavy duty ice scoop to make serving drinks to your guests quick and easy. The Silence Mode allows you to suspend ice making for three hours.

  10. How to Reduce Theft in your Restaurant

    Lots of people in and out. Lots of customers. Numerous people handling money. It's easy for restaurants to fall prey to theft and fraud. Here are some tips to reduce the fraud in your restaurant with tips from Winny Daud and Philipp Laque of Revenue Management Solutions:

    1. Identify where you are at risk. This can be any area where cash is exchanging hands or a lack of supervision is common. Where are employees issuing refunds for example? Is a supervisor or card required to issue a discount or void out an item? Establish a system of checks and balances to safeguard from this.

    2. Look for a pattern. Is there a particular server who always seems to be present when a high amount of refunds take place? Patterns like these can help stop fraudulent behavior and identify and dismiss the perpetrators.

    3. Make it known that you're watching. Whether by security cameras or company meetings, people are less likely to steal when they know that someone is watching. Although that may seem like common sense, it means that by simply posting rules against fraud, monitoring activity and keeping an eye on your employees, you can cut down on theft.

    4. Watch out for cash. This makes fast casual restaurants especially vulnerable to theft, but the truth is the overwhelming majority of voided transactions are cash based. You can't refuse cash, of course, but be mindful of cash transaction and be ready to question a large number of voids that take place on them. Questioning your servers and rely on your managers to monitor and watch out for any suspicious activity.
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