Buck’s Ice Cream has been boasting the famous and delicious Tiger Stripe ice cream since the 1920’s. With a small staff of just ten, Buck’s is completely run out of Eckles Hall on campus.
The ice cream is developed through the Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, but not all of the staff is necessarily food science majors. The staff who work at Buck’s range from education majors to journalism.
In 1987, MU alumni Wendell and Ruth Arbuckle established an endowed professorship in ice cream research in the food science department. The present-day Buck’s location officially opened in the spring of 1989. At the time, Richard Linhardt was working in food science as a research specialist and faculty member. He took over Buck’s in 1992 and works as store manager.
Through years of experience and ice cream, Linhardt sticks to tradition. Buck’s Ice Cream has proudly served flavors ranging from Tiger Stripe to rocky road to black walnut.
“Tiger Stripe is officially my favorite ice cream here, but I do really like the butter pecan,” Linhardt said.
Robert Marshall, the first Arbuckle Professor for Ice Cream Research, thought strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavors were too conventional and decided to make an ice cream unique to MU. He wanted to be revolutionary and create ice cream with the stripes of a tiger, but had difficulty with it.
Marshall went on to try sherbet and licorice, but finally settled on gold-colored French vanilla and dark Dutch chocolate. His creation was an immediate hit and is now the favorite flavor among 16 offered at Buck’s Ice Cream.
Two years ago, the dairy program’s research center decided to focus on the creation of “functional foods,” with frozen desserts that contribute health benefits to consumers beyond regular nutrition.
Ingolf Gruen, supervisor at Buck’s and associate professor and chair of food science, led an effort to add fiber, antioxidants and probiotic bacteria to Buck’s products.
“I chose to work with antioxidants because it doesn’t come to mind and isn’t critical,” Gruen said. “But because antioxidants are so well known to the public, I figured it won’t hurt to put it in, since it is feasible to do.”
Gruen also recently finished another project adding dietary fiber to frozen yogurt.
“We found that frozen yogurt combined with dietary fiber was preferred over the regular because it was smoother,” Gruen said.