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Ice Types and Uses

Ice has many forms and uses. This guide will provide the terminology and functions that the different types of ice serve. 

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Flake Ice

Flake Ice pieces are irregular shaped, thin and easy to crunch if eaten. 

Flake Ice is used in the seafood industry for cooling and packing product for transport. 

Flake Ice for consumption can be found at some Dairy Queen locations. There are also machines available that make Flake Ice.

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Sphere Ice

Sphere Ice (ball shaped) is round, large, clear and hard. Sphere Ice is difficult to eat due to its hardness.

Sphere Ice is used in alcoholic beverages that require cooling without quick dilution of the drink. Sphere Ice is slow melting. Sphere Ice is made with distilled water to avoid cloudiness.

Sphere Ice is found in bars that serve whiskey and bourbon based cocktails. There are also molds available so it can be made at home.

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Nugget Ice

Nugget Ice (also known as chewable, pellet and Sonic ice) pieces are small, airy, and easy to crunch. There are some versions that have larger pieces that have a similar crunch texture.

Nugget Ice is used in certain beverages, for packing and cooling of products. It is also one of the most popular for eating.

Nugget Ice is found in many eateries like Chick-Fil-A, QuikTrip and of course Sonic.

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Shaved/Snow Ice

Shaved/Snow Ice is light, fluffy, moldable and has minimal crunch. As the name suggests it resembles snow.

Shaved/Snow Ice is used for desserts like snow cones and creamed ice. The texture is also popular among people who enjoy eating ice without the need for chewing it.

Shaved/Snow Ice is found at Bahama Bucks and Pelican Sno Balls. There are also many recipes for how to make snow using a blender found online.

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Tube/Cylindrical Ice

Tube/Cylindrical Ice is round or oblong with a whole in the middle. It can be hard or soft depending on the machine and type of water used to make it. 

Tube/Cylindrical Ice is used in beverages like soft drinks to keep them cold without melting too quickly This ice type can also be used for cooling drinks and food for transport.

Tube/Cylindrical Ice can be found in some convenient stores, restaurants and is also available in countertop ice machines for home.

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Cubed Ice

Cube Ice is square, can be clear or cloudy and usually harder in texture. Softer Cube Ice can be made using carbonated water. Cube Ice comes in different sizes depending on the use.

Cube Ice is used in beverages for cooling without melting too fast. It is one of the oldest shapes of ice and one of the most available.

Cube Ice can be found in convenient stores and restaurants. It is also available in home refrigerators and can be made in trays.