It happens to the best of us. Despite your best efforts to get home from the grocery store with your ice cream intact, it has melted just enough to ruin your day. That’s because when a pint melts and then refreezes the texture changes completely. Odds are you’ve often wondered why this happens. After all, isn’t the melted stuff still the same ice cream it once was? Yes and no.
The reason the texture of ice cream changes upon being melted and refrozen is actually quite scientific. Unbeknownst to many, ice cream has very small microscopic air bubbles that exist to keep it soft and fluffy. When the ice cream melts, the entire molecular structure of the ice cream breaks down, and the air escapes those little bubbles. When you re-freeze your frozen treat and grab a scoop, the ice cream is no longer as soft nor does it have that creamy texture.
While the treat itself is still totally edible and safe to eat, many can't stand the new grainy texture refrozen ice cream can boast. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to spare your pint should it melt, but if you want someone or something to blame, make it science.