Dippin’ Dots helps save the US

Autumn Lloyd, Reporter

Dippin’ Dots, the ice cream-adjacent treat that’s sold at amusement parks and sporting events across the country, is at first glance the polar opposite of a COVID vaccine. But it turns out that the candy could be part of the vaccination effort that is currently rescuing America from the Coronavirus pandemic. 

It is common knowledge that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at extremely cold temperatures, at -94 degrees Celsius to be precise. This creates serious logistical challenges in transporting the vaccine to hospitals across the country. Stephen Gandel at CBS writes that “Early on, experts warned that the U.S. lacked the necessary ultra-cold storage trucks and cargo planes needed to ship hundreds of millions of doses at sub-sub-zero temperatures.” This was a large hurdle to overcome, but luckily Stan Jones, the chief development officer for Dippin’ Dots, stepped up to help. “We have the ability, we have those freezers accessible,” Jones told Today Food in explaining how his company could help with the vaccination effort.

Dippin’ Dots has a lot of experience with the so-called “cold chain” (the supply chain of refrigerated or frozen products) as a result of the necessity of keeping their product frozen enough to maintain its pellet shape while being transported.  They used this experience to “[develop] an equipment line through Dippin’ Dots (D.D.) Cryogenics to provide equipment to … other industries,” explained Jones. Now this very equipment is being used to provide Americans with an effective vaccine. 

Jones also mentioned to Today Food that Dippin’ Dots is also helping with storage: “…inquiries are coming from pharmacies and places that might be administering the vaccines and are anticipating what they might need for storage.” The company has been assisting these hospitals and pharmacies with safely handling the frozen nitrogen that is a crucial part of the cold chain as well.

This is a classic example of innovation that can only be brought by a crisis. The renewal of America will come as a result of the collaboration of some of the best scientific minds in the world and a beloved dessert company. Turns out a vaccine and ultra-cold ice cream do have something in common.