Polytechnique students asked to shrink an instant-freeze machine

A Montreal inventor is going back to his alma mater, asking some engineering students to help him shrink his instant-freeze machine.

Julien Michalk says the Ufrost device has applications in food prep, bartending - and medicine.

" I would really have loved to work with a project like this, upcoming, a really high potential project," says the Ecole Polytechnique graduate.

Michalk is returning to the engineering department at the Polytechnique to ask today's students to help him build a more compact Ufrost machine.  They'll earn course credits for their work on the device.

His invention uses compressed carbon dioxide to freeze liquids and solids very quickly - in about a minute for half an ounce of liquor. The full-size model freezes up to eight half-ounce units.  The smaller version will be about a third of the size, and will accommodate up to four "shots".

The carbon dioxide is sourced from industries which produce it as an unwanted waste product. 

The inventor says it's very interesting how the flash freezing can alter the taste and texture of foods and beverages.  For example, the flavour and sometimes the colour of alcoholic drinks evolves as the frozen component melts into the liquid ingredients.  Liquors which are high in sugar don't freeze solid - they acquire a texture similar to play dough..  And when put into a Ufrost machine, maple syrup becomes instant taffy.

Michalk says in addition to making intriguing frozen foods and cocktails, Ufrost technology could also help doctors and scientists freeze samples for research.