This is fun question! I would say that the
answer to your question is: not exactly.
Before we get into why this is so, let's talk a
little bit about what ice cream is and how it
Ice cream is an emulsion (a mixture) of
two substances that don't normally mix with one
another: fat and a sugar/water solution. Fats are
a type of molecule called lipids, which typically
don't mix with water. But in ice cream, fat
particles are dispersed with water, sugar, and
Now, the amount of sugar and air are
probably the most important factors in
determining how fast the ice cream will melt.
Sugar is important because it is a solute in the
water -- this means that molecules of water
surround the sugar molecules in the solution.
Sugar and other solute molecules have the effect
of lowering the freezing temperature of a
solution. This is called "freezing point
depression." Now, freezing is a process by
which liquids transition into solids. The opposite
process, where solids transition into liquids is
called melting. The freezing point of a
substance (temperature at which it freezes) is the
same as the melting point (temperature at which it
melts) Thus, if the freezing point is being
lowered, so is the melting point. That means that
ice cream with more sugar in it will melt at a
lower temperature than ice cream with less sugar
in it. In turn, because the more sugary ice cream
has a lower melting temperature, it will also melt
faster at room temperature than the less sugary
The other factor we said is important is how
much air is in the ice cream. Ice cream
usually has little pockets of air throughout. Ice
creams that have more numerous and smaller pockets
of air have higher surface area to volume ratios.
Higher surface area means that the ice cream will
So ultimately, the answer to your question
really is, it depends on what's in the ice cream.
The amount of air and sugar in the flavors
plays a large role in how quickly the ice
cream will melt. Additionally, more exotic
flavors with other substances in them will melt
differently as well (things like Rocky Road and
Pistachio). I hope this helps!
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