Frozen carbonated beverage

Frozen carbonated beverage

A frozen carbonated beverage (FCB) is a mixture of flavored sugar syrup, carbon dioxide, and water that is frozen by a custom machine creating a drink comprised of a fine slush of suspended ice crystals, with very little liquid. Some common FCBs are the Slurpee, the ICEE, and the Froster.


The FCB machine was invented by Omar Knedlik, then the owner of a Dairy Queen franchise. In the late 1950s, his restaurant lacked a soda fountain. Instead, he stored soda in his freezer. His customers loved the slushy drinks, so Knedlik tried to capture them with a machine.By the mid 1960s, about 300 machines had been manufactured. In 1965 7-Eleven licensed the machine, and began selling the Slurpee.

How an FCB machine works

The back-end of an FCB machine is very similar to a regular soda fountain. Concentrated flavor syrups are mixed with filtered water, then carbonated. This mixture is then injected into a cylinder surrounded by freezer coils. The mixture freezes to the wall of the cylinder, then is scraped off by a rotating dasher, which also keeps the mixture uniformly mixed. FCB machines will often freeze to a temperature well below the freezing point of water, but a mixture of pressure (up to 40psi), sugar, and the constant stirring prevent the mass from freezing solid.

Differences between FCBs and FUBs

"Frozen Uncarbonated Beverage" machines are distinctive from FCB machines in that they lack a pressure chamber, and do not require a carbon dioxide connection. Many modern FUB machines use a spiral-shaped plastic dasher to scrape crystals off a freezing cylinder, often integrated into a clear hopper. Modern FUB machines can make a fine-textured product, but their product is often much 'wetter' than a true FCB. On the other hand, FUB machines are much simpler and less expensive, and so they are more common. An FUB machine can be purchased for well under $2000, and rented for less than $100/day. FCB machines often must have a dedicated service staff.

ee also

Retail Brands of FCBs

* Slurpee
* The ICEE Company
* Froster
* Liquid Ice

Non-FCB Slush Drinks

* Slush Puppie

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