Access to these patents will help the industry reformulate ice cream products that remain stable at the warmer freezer temperature of -12°C, rather than the current industry standard of -18°C
Unilever has announced it will grant a free non-exclusive license to the ice cream industry for 12 reformulation patents, following two successful pilots to warm up its last mile ice cream freezer cabinets.
Access to these patents will help the industry reformulate ice cream products that remain stable at the warmer freezer temperature of -12°C, rather than the current industry standard of -18°C. It is hoped that by sharing these patents with other ice cream manufacturers the industry will be able to move towards more energy-efficient freezer cabinets across the globe.
Last year, Unilever announced its ambition to increase the temperature of its last mile ice cream freezer cabinets, whilst ensuring the same ice cream quality and consumer experience. Since then, research conducted at Colworth, Unilever’s Global Ice Cream R&D Centre and two pilots in Germany have confirmed an energy reduction of around 25 per cent per freezer cabinet at the warmer temperature of -12°C, which is better for the environment, and means the freezers are cheaper to run.
Emissions from retail ice cream freezers account for 10 per cent of Unilever’s value chain greenhouse gas footprint. Unilever’s Climate Transition Action Plan sets out the company’s roadmap to reach its climate targets, including achieving net zero emissions across its value chain by 2039, and a science-based target to halve the emissions impact of its products on a consumer use basis by 2030, against a 2010 baseline.