BBC Two shows Gregg Wallace’s behind the scenes tour
ICE cream fans can enjoy a full access tour of Mackie’s of Scotland’s family farm and ice cream dairy from their sofas – as it takes centre stage in the latest episode of ‘Inside the Factory’ – series 7.
Airing next Wednesday (9th February) at 7:30pm, viewers will be given the inside scoop following Gregg Wallace’s visit to the Aberdeenshire farm business, where he helped make some of their famous real dairy ice cream in Honeycomb flavour, from milking the cows to filling and freezing the tubs.
The TV presenter was hosted by Kirstin Mackie and he met several of the staff team including Dave Smurthwaite (Head Cattleman), Morag Haggerty (Production Manager), Louise Hunter and Dierdre Henderson (from the Sweetie Kitchen) – and the cows while discovering how the family business, which makes more than 12 million litres of ice cream each year, uses fresh milk from its herd to make their dairy ice cream.
Gregg was also shown the techniques and equipment required for Mackie’s to make their own honeycomb and packaging on the farm.
Beginning his tour with a visit to the byre, Gregg sees how the cows are to able milk themselves. After this, Gregg helps make some honeycomb in the ‘sweetie kitchen’ and follows the mixing process in the ice cream dairy and enjoys a joke about how the staff keep an eye on consistency of the ice cream on the filling line.
The Inside the Factory episode on Ice Cream shows Mackie’s “Sky to Scoop” ethos, which sees it manage each stage of the process on site, using renewable energy from their wind turbines to power the ice cream dairy.
Kirstin Mackie, Development Director and one of three sibling owners at Mackie’s of Scotland, said: “We are busy making ice cream here on a working farm – it’s not a visitor centre and it can be difficult to show people around the business. We loved the experience of working through this and having Gregg and the filming crew up to see us and we hope that viewers will enjoy learning more about Mackie’s.
“While I and some of our team were initially quite nervous – it was made fun by Gregg’s chat and the friendly film and sound crew. It was very interesting to see how much work goes into making the programme as well – it was a full and busy three days filming!
“We are delighted to have this opportunity to show how Mackie’s make ice cream on this fantastic programme.”
A key part of the visit was the exclusive glimpse inside Mackie’s new twin drum spiral freezer, where a togged-up Gregg and the crew stepped inside the freezer – despite the temperature of – 35 C to watch the tubs of ice cream being frozen and learn why it is important to freeze the ice cream mix quickly and efficiently – to ensure that the final product is created with the desired smooth texture.
The spiral freezer is part of Mackie’s newly installed Low Carbon refrigeration system, which runs on ammonia and biomass heat – and is expected to reduce Mackie’s energy use and carbon emissions by up to 80%.
The firm was an early adopter of wind energy with their first private wind turbine over 40 years ago, and current investment in renewable energy and 4 large wind turbines began in 2005. The business uses energy from their mix of wind, solar and biomass energy that produces more than 8.5 GWh of electricity each year – more than twice the amount required by the entire farm and business.
‘Inside the Factory’ is a BBC Two production that has been running since 2015, showcasing all things manufacturing. Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey get exclusive access to some of the largest factories in Britain to reveal the secrets behind production on an epic scale.
Previous episodes have seen presenters Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey, joined by Historian Ruth Goodman, tour malt loaf, liqueur and digger factories.
Since first beginning to make ice cream in 1986, Mackie’s of Scotland has since launched more than 200 products and created more than 1000 flavours. To find out more about Mackie’s of Scotland, visit; https://www.mackies.co.uk/
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