ice cream making process

Ice Cream Making Process; Ingredients & Formulation

An ice cream is a dairy product produced by dynamically freezing the pasteurized ice cream mix. The components of the ice cream mix include a mixture of milk, cream, sugars, stabilizers, emulsifiers, other food additives, and the ice cream overrun.

This article will articulate the fundamentals of ice cream-making process. We will make an elaborate effort at highlighting the components of the ice cream, including the ice cream overrun.

Ice cream making is a very delicate process that requires high precision and delicate manipulation of parameters to produce high quality ice cream.

Many things can go wrong; therefore, it is necessary to know the steps that will guide you to produce high quality product. It is extremely important to keep the equipment spotlessly clean. (Learn how to sanitize ice cream making equipment here).

Before we start the process of making the product, you need to learn how to make the ice cream mix. Here is how it is done.

How to Formulate Ice Cream Mix for Super Ice Creams

In the ice cream manufacturing process, you must carefully weigh and measure the ingredients before starting to mix. You must carefully identify the amount of each ingredient you use to formulate ice cream mix due to:

  • A finished product of the right quality and consistency from batch to batch is very necessary. It is only possible to achieve this by using the right proportions of the ingredients.
  • The cost implications. Some ingredients such as cream are expensive; therefore, the manufacturer may compromise on the quality of the product.
Proper ice cream mix formulation enhances quality of ice cream #icecream #icecreammix Click To Tweet

Here’s a video of mix formation.

Video by Jeff Brackenbury

To ensure that you end up with the right formulation of the mix, you can adopt any of these methods:

  1. Pearson square method
  2. Algebraic equations method
  3. Calculating the percentage MSNF
  4. Serum point method
  5. Formula (tables) method
  6. Computer generated formulations

We will use a problem to demonstrate how to formulate an ice cream formula using one of the listed methods.

Algebraic equations method to formulate ice cream mix

Formulate a 10,000 kg ice cream mix with 12% butterfat, 10% MSNF, 14% cane sugar, 0.2% gelatin, 0.2% glycerol monostearate, and 0.3% flavor/color combination.

Ingredients to formulate ice cream mix

  • Fresh cream: 38.5% BF and 5.5% MSNF
  • Whole milk: 3.5% BF and 8.5% MSNF
  • Skim milk powder: 0% BF and 96% MSNF
  • Gelatin: 100% TS
  • Gums: 100% TS
  • Flavor and color: 100% TS

Questions

  1. Calculate the amount of each ingredient to be used to formulate ice cream mix above.
  2. The mix was used to make ice cream with 80% overrun: Calculate the final weight of the ice cream.

Answers

Now, assuming x-cream, y-whole milk powder, and z-skim milk powder,

The total mix equation (i) becomes:

x+y+z+14+0.2+0.2+0.3=100 ===> x+y+z=85.3

Butterfat equation (ii) becomes:

(38.5/100)x+(3.5/100)y=12 ===> 0.385x+0.035y=12

MSNF equation (iii) becomes:

0.055x+0.085y+0.96z=10

Eliminate z by multiplying equation (i) by 0.96

0.96x+0.96y+0.96z=81.888……….(iv)

Equate equation (iv) with equation (iii)

Screenshot_15

Make x the subject of the formula

0.905x=71.888-0.875y ===> x=79.4343-0.9669y

Now substitute x in equation (ii)

Equation (ii) is 0.385x+0.035y=12

Substituting x gives:

0.385(79.4343-0.9669y)+0.035y=12 ===> 30.547-0.3723y+0.035y=12

18.547=0.3373y ===> y=54.987kg

Substitute the value of y in equation (ii)

Equation (ii) is 0.385x+0.035y=12

Substituting y gives

0.385x+0.035(54.987)=12 ===> 0.385x=10.075 ===> x=26.17kg

Substitute the values of x and y in equation (i) to get the value of z

Equation (i) is x+y+z=85.3

26.17+54.987+z=85.3 ===> z=85.3-81157 ===> z=4.143kg

To get the amounts of each ingredient used to make the 10,000 mix

X=26.17*100=2617kg of cream

Y=54.987*100=5498.7kg of whole milk

Z=4.143*100=414.3kgof skim milk powder

  • Sugar needed = 1400kg
  • Flavor and color = 30kg
  • GMS = 20kg
  • Gelatin = 20kg

Total amount of ice cream mix = 1400+30+20+20+414.3+5498.7+2617 = 10,000kg

With 80% overrun, the final quantity of the ice cream becomes 10,000*1.8 = 18,000kg.

Ice Cream Overrun & 6 Other Active Ingredients

What constitutes an ice cream? To answer this question, let us first consider the raw materials needed to make a high quality ice cream.

The most important components include:
  • High quality dairy ingredients (with proper proportions of butterfat and MSNF)
  • Sugar
  • Stabilizers
  • Flavoring agents
  • Coloring agents
  • Permitted food additives
  • Optional ingredients (can include egg yolk, spices, herbs, nuts, fresh/dried fruits, etc.)

A standard ice cream consists of 10% butterfat, 11% MSNF, <14% sugar, <0.4% emulsifier and stabilizer, 64.6% water, and a maximum of 100% overrun (i.e. 50 litres of the ice cream should incorporate an equivalent of 50 litres of water).

You get #icecream by dynamically freezing pasteurized #milk, #cream, #sugars, #stabilizers, #emulsifiers, & #foodadditives Click To Tweet

1. Butterfat

This ingredient can be obtained from fresh cream, whipping cream, unsalted butter, butter oil (anhydrous milk fat), or concentrated sweetened cream (with 65% butterfat content).

It should be incorporated into the mix at the rate of 10% minimum but can go up to 15% by weight.

Butterfat contributes to rich creamy flavor and texture of the ice cream. The homogenization process uniformly distributes the butterfat globules in the ice cream.

This uniform distribution imparts a smooth feel to the mouth, provides EFA (e.g. oleic acid) and energy.

Ice cream with higher butterfat content tends to have smaller sized ice crystals. The correct amount of butterfat lessens the amount of incorporated air during whipping while less butterfat will lead to more incorporated air in the ice cream.

2. Milk Solid Non-Fat (MSNF)

Composed of minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, citrates) and proteins, which consists of caseins and whey proteins (β-lactoglobulins and α-lactalbunins). These should consist at least 11% of the total volume of the mix.

MSNF in #icecream should consist at least 11% of the total volume of the mix Click To Tweet

MSNF used in the mix can be obtained from skim milk powder, whey powder, condensed skim milk,

Nutritionally, MSNF provides proteins (amino acids) and calories from the sugar. They also contribute to the texture of the ice cream. These solids stabilize the air cells. They also hold the water and prevent syneresis.

Again, these solids have emulsification effect. The minerals act in conjunction with the proteins (e.g. calcium citrate) to enhance stabilization.

3. Sugar

Various types of sugar can be used to formulate the mix. They may include cane sugar and sugar beet (in granulated form), high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), dextrose, honey, etc. the sugars enhance the flavor of the product and supplies calories to the ice cream.

These sugars impart the preservative effect in ice cream and depresses the freezing point of the ice cream mix.

Other sweeteners such as aspartame and stevia may be used in the product as well. These impart sweetness but add no nutritional value and do not depress the freezing point of the product.

Sweetness indices of some sweeteners

SugarRelative sweetness
Sucrose100
HFCS68
Regular concentrated syrup50
Fructose179
Dextrose74

4. Emulsifiers

These ingredients stabilize the emulsions. The common emulsifiers used in the ice cream mix include:

  • Glycerol esters e.g. glycerol monostearate
  • Sorbitol esters e.g. polysorbit 65 and 80
  • Sugar esters e.g. sucrose monostearate
  • Phospholipids e.g. lecithin
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Dioctyl sodium sulphosuccinate

Functions of emulsifiers

  1. Improve the whipping quality of ice cream by producing smaller ice crystals and smaller air cells. This contributes to softer texture of ice cream by making the product stiffer and drier.
  2. They stabilize oil in water emulsion of ice cream mix by preventing separation of fat and serum.
  3. Reduces the whipping time.
  4. Reduces the rate of melting of the finished product.
  5. Protects the product from heat shock.

5. Stabilizers

Stabilizers are mostly natural products. They bind the water in the mix and prevent formation of large ice crystals, which also prevent separation of water and the solid phase.

By binding the water, the resultant ice cream has good texture and is resistant to heat shock, both during processing and storage of the finished product.

#Stabilizers bind water & prevent formation of large ice crystals/sandy #icecream. Click To Tweet

The amount and type of stabilizer used depends on the composition of the mix, processing conditions (temperatures), and the storage time of the ice cream. Most ice cream mixes have 0.2 – 0.5% added stabilizers.

Some common stabilizers used in ice cream making:

  • Sodium arginate, which is derived from marine plants
  • Kelp
  • Locust bean (has superior heat shock qualities)
  • Guar gum
  • Gelatin derived from animal sources
  • Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, which has emulsifying properties as well

Functions of Stabilizers

  1. They increase the water holding capacity of the product. They are dehydrated before the start of processing but their action starts during processing and continues to storage.
  2. Stabilizers impart heat shock resistance to the finished product
  3. They give the product good texture and mouth feel
  4. Stabilizers also enhance uniform air distribution within the product and increase the viscosity of the product

6. Flavoring and coloring agents

These compounds improve the organoleptic quality of the ice cream. They are added during the mixing stage of the ice cream manufacturing process. If nuts and fruits are to be used, they should be added just before the freezing starts.

Some common flavors and colors used in ice creams include: Vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, annatto, erythrocyn, nuts and fruits. They increase the consumer appeal and acceptability of the product.

Once all these ingredients have been procured, one can now begin the process of ice cream making. Generally, the following steps apply in the manufacturing process of ice cream.

  1. Identification of the ingredients to be used
  2. Mix formulation – calculate the proportion of each ingredient to be used in the formula
  3. Weighing, measuring, and mixing the ingredients
  4. Pasteurization of the mix
  5. Homogenization and cooling of the mix
  6. Freezing and hardening
  7. Extrusion, moulding, and packaging of the ice cream

7. The ice cream overrun

The ice cream overrun is the excess volume of the ice cream you obtain after processing the ice cream mix. This excess volume (expressed as a percentage) consists of air that you incorporate into the mix while freezing.

Control the amount of air to ensure you produce a high quality product. as a rule, the amount of incorporated air should not exceed 2 -3  times the amount of total solids in the mix. Too much or too little air will lead to a defective ice cream.

Incorporating too much or too little air into the #icecream will lead to a defective product Click To Tweet

The volume of the ice cream overrun depends on the following factors:

  1. Legislative frameworks regulating the the market
  2. Total solids content in the ice cream mix.
  3. Type of ice cream you want to make (whether to incorporate fruits/nuts) and the target selling price
  4. Associated production costs

No matter what the determinant is, ensure some level of ethical practice. It would be unethical to incorporate too much air into the product as it would translate to selling air to the customers.

Once you have determined the amount of the ice cream overrun you would want to incorporate in the ice cream, it is time to freeze the mix.

The amount of ice cream overrun you will obtain depends on: 

  1. The type of the ingredients you incorporate in the mix.
  2.  How sharp the baffle blades are.
  3.  The speed of rotation of the dasher.
  4.  Temperature and volume of refrigerant passing over the freezing chamber
The volume of the #ice cream #overrun depends on the speed of dasher rotation, baffle sharpness, etc Click To Tweet

There are some instances when you may fail to obtain the amount of ice cream overrun you had projected.

Failure to obtain the volume of ice cream overrun may be due to:

  1. When the ice cream is too soft. It is heavy hence impedes air incorporation
  2. The ice cream forms large ice crystals
  3. You draw the mix at higher temperatures than recommended
  4. When you take too long to make/obtain the overrun

Whatever the case, ensure that you accurately test for the percentage overrun. Testing the volume of the overrun will help you control the amount of incorporated air.

This is important to ensure that you produce ice cream with consistent quality parameters.

How to calculate the percentage ice cream overrun

As we have already observed, it is important to continuously calculate the volume of the ice cream overrun to control the quality parameters of the ice cream.

You can calculate the percentage ice cream overrun based on either the volume or the weight of the ice cream.

Based on the weight of the ice cream:

Example

If 1000 ml of ice cream mix weighs 1100 gm, and 1000ml of frozen ice cream weighs 550 gm. What will be the percentageice cream overrun in ice cream?

Solution:

% overrun = {(Wt. unit vol. mix –Wt. unit vol. ice cream)/( Wt. same unit vol ice cream)}*100

% overrun = {(1100-550)/550)*100 = (550/550)*100 =100%

Based on the volume of the ice cream:

Example

If you freeze 20 liters of the ice cream mix to make 38 liters of ice cream, what percentage overrun in the ice cream will you have?

Solution:

% overrun = {[(Vol. ice cream)-( Vol. mix)]/( Vol. mix)}*100

% overrun = {(38-20)/(20)}*100 = 90%

The ice cream making process flowchart
Screenshot_16

Step one: Mixing

All dried ingredients are weighed while liquid ingredients are proportioned by volume. In smaller capacity manufacturing plants, the dry ingredients are weighed and added to the mixing tanks manually.

These mixing tanks are designed such that they are heated indirectly (e.g. double jacketed vats) and they have very efficient agitators to facilitate uniform distribution of heat.

Large-scale ice cream manufacturing plants use automatic batching systems that are often custom built to the user’s specifications.

Some blending systems contain both meters and load cells so that the former can be used to check on the reliability of the former and vice versa.

These large-scale plants usually have multiple mix tanks whose volumes correspond to the plant’s hourly capacity (determined by the capacity of the pasteurizer) to ensure that the process is continuous.

It is important to ensure that the dried ingredients are properly suspended in the mixing tank to avoid lumpiness of the mix. Proper suspension is achieved by:

  • Mixing dry ingredients thoroughly with part of the sugar before slowly adding the remaining sugar.
  • Sifting and slowly adding these dry ingredients into the liquid while slowly agitating the entire mix.
  • Some dry ingredients such as the milk powder are added in a mixing unit where water is circulated. The circulation effect sucks the powder into the flow.

Adding gelatin to increase viscosity

Gelatin is best added after thorough mixing with equal quantity of sugar, which is added cold into the mixture. It can also be sprinkled onto the surface of cold liquid and allowed to soak for about 30 minutes before heating.

Another option is to soak the gelatin in some water and immediately heat to dissolve the gelatin then add to the mix in the tank.

If sodium arginate is used as a stabilizer, add it at the heating stage when the mix attains the temperature of about 66°C.

If frozen butter/cream is used, then cut them into small pieces and add into the mix in good time to allow total melting before the pasteurization temperatures are applied.

Flavors are added just before the mix is frozen (because they are volatile and will escape if added before pasteurization).

Step two: Pasteurization and Homogenization

Batch Production

The mix in the mixing tank is heated to 70°C and held for 30 minutes. The mix is then passed through the homogenizer at between 140 – 200 bars then immediately cooled to 50°C.

Homogenization increases viscosity mechanically. The mix is then passed to the aging tank.

Large-scale production

Pre-heat the mix to 73-75°C then homogenize at 140 – 200 bars then pump the mix to the PHE and pasteurize at 83 – 85°C for 15 seconds. Cool the mix to 5°C and transfer to the aging tank.

Step three: Aging

The mix is aged for between 4 – 24 hours at 2 – 5°C under continuous agitation. During the aging process, the following occur:

  1. Stabilizer draws water and takes full effect
  2. Butterfat solidifies and crystalize
  3. The proteins also impart stabilization effect by drawing water and swelling.
  4. The viscosity of the mix increases and it changes appearance to glossy and smooth. A certain viscosity level is needed in acquiring the required overrun during ice cream making. Excessively viscous mix is not ideal because it will not achieve the required overrun.
  5. Very little air in the mix results into a soggy and heavy ice cream.

Step four: Freezing

Batch freezing

The batch freezer has a double walled cylinder firmly fixed on its base and has agitators and scrappers (dashers) that scrape off the frozen ice cream from the walls.

The agitators beat air into the freezing ice cream mix. Freezing of the mix is achieved by circulating cold brine/ammonia in the jacket of the cylinder. Freezing is done between -3°C and -6°C.

Continuous freezing

From the aging tanks, the mix is pumped to the continuous freezer where air is whipped in as it is frozen between the temperatures of -3°C and -6°C.

The increased volume of the ice cream due to incorporation of the air is the overrun (80 – 100%).

The ice cream leaving the continuous freezer has a texture similar to soft ice hence needs to be taken to the hardening tank, then to the modelling and finally packaging.

Continuous freezing facilitates faster freezing leading to very small ice crystals.

Step five: The Overrun

This is the volume of the ice cream obtained in excess of the volume of the mix. It is expressed as a percentage overrun.

The amount of air incorporated into the mix depends on the composition of the mix. The overrun is regulated so as to produce a product with the right body texture and palatability.

Too much air will result in a fluffy, snowy unpalatable ice cream while too little air will result in a soggy and heavy ice cream.

The general rule: Mixes with high total solid content justifies higher percentage incorporation of air than those with lower total solids content.

Generally, the amount of overrun should be 2 – 3 times the amount of total solids of the ice cream mix.

Considerations for the overrun

  1. Legal regulations that specify the required percentage overrun (KEBS require the overrun to be less than 100%).
  2. Total solids: overrun should be 2 – 3 times the amount of the total solids
  3. Types of flavors used: bulky flavors (fruits and nuts) yields a lower overrun
  4. Cost of ice cream production versus the selling price of the product.

Determining the overrun

% overrun = [(unit weight of mix – unit weight of finished ice cream)*100]/unit weight of finished ice cream.

Step six: Packaging

The ice cream is extruded into moulds with different shapes and wrapped using glassine (oil resistant paper) before taking it into the hardening tunnel.

Step seven: Hardening and Storage

The already packaged ice cream is exposed to a temperature range of -20°C to -40°C in the hardening tunnel for between 6 – 8 hours for larger packages and 30 minutes for smaller packages.

The hardened ice cream is then stored at temperatures of ≤25°C. The storage shelf life is about 9 months. Hardening completes the ice cream freezing process and stabilizes the product so that it does not melt down too quickly.

Rapid freezing yields a good textured product and is economical for production purposes.

Here is a video of the ice cream making process using a batch freezer.

Video by UCC Culinary Arts

Recipe for making ice cream at home without an ice cream machine

Ice cream making process, whether at home or at the factory essentially uses the principles we have outlined above.

If you are wondering if it is possible to make an ice cream without expensive plant installed. The answer is an emphatic yes.

However, you will have to contend with the fact that the overrun will not be properly incorporated. The ice cream machine has the capability to incorporate the air under constant speed and refrigeration temperatures.

Achieving the consistency of an ice cream machine will be a commendable feat.

We are going to outline a recipe you can use to make your own fresh serving of ice cream at home.

What do we need?

Ingredients

  • 360 ml whole pasteurized milk (about 1.5 cups)
  • 360 ml half cream (about 1.5 cups)
  • 180 g granulated sugar (about 3/4 cup)
  • 20 ml corn syrup (binds and stabilizes the sugar)
  • 10 – 15 ml vanilla extract (about 1 tea spoon)
  • 4 egg yolks (you can omit this if you do not take eggs)

Materials

  • 6 – 7 cups of ice (crushed or cubes will work fine)
  • About 60 g granulated/sea salt
  • Mixing bowls
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Whisk
  • Ice water bath
  • Medium saucepan
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Zip lock bags

Instructions

First, we need to make the ice cram base. It will help us to incorporate all the ingredients that we need to add into our ice cream.

The ice cream making process using zip lock bags follows the following 9 steps:

  1. Warm the milk in a sauce pan. We are going to use the warm milk to temper the egg yolk so that we do not end up with scrambled eggs instead of a smooth ice cream base.
  2. Meanwhile, set up the ice water bath. After filling a large bowl with the ice cubes and some water, place a smaller bowl on top.
  3. Mix the corn syrup with sugar and whisk the mixture with the yolks. Mix the yolk with the sugar until you obtain a lemon yellow color. The corn syrup will stabilize the granulated sugar in the base.
  4. By this time the milk shall have reached the desired temperature (80ºC). Remove the milk from the fire and slowly add about 150 ml of the hot milk into the yolk-sugar mixture. Mix slowly with a spatula to temper the eggs and avoid cooking the yolk.
  5. After tempering the yolk, add it back into the saucepan and continue heating while whisking continuously until it thickens. It should be thick enough to coat the spatula.
  6. Remove the ice cream base from the source of fire. Strain it through the sieve (into the smaller bowl in the ice water bath) to trap any solid or yolk that might have scrambled by accident.
  7. Add the cream and vanilla extract into the base: Stir the mix continuously in the ice water bath to avoid cooking the yolk. Leave the ice cream base in the ice water bath for 20 minutes and keep stirring occasionally until the base chills completely. Transfer the base into the smaller zip lock bag.
  8. Add salt to the ice cubes in the larger bag (lowers their melting point of ice). Put the bag with ice cream base into the larger zip lock bag containing ice cubes. Keep churning it util the ice cream base freezes.
  9. Freeze the ice cream until it solidifies. You can now put the frozen ice cream into the freezer for 24 hours to age. Seal it with wax paper to discourage formation of ice crystals. However, you can eat it in four hours if you were looking for an instant treat.

Frozen Dairy Products Other Than Ice Cream

Most people are already familiar with ice creams, which are the most popular frozen dairy products. However, there are a number of other frozen dairy products other than ice cream that do not enjoy as much popularity. They are wonderful products with excellent nutritional value that you can try one of these days.

The list below explores the simple process you can follow to make for yourself some of these not so popular frozen dairy products.

1. Soft serve dairy products

These include soft serve ice cream, ice milk, milk shake, mellorine, melted milk, and custards.

They are marketed and served in their soft form as soon as they leave the freezer (at between negative eight to negative six degrees centigrade). The actual freezing takes place at between -15°C to -20°C for 3 – 5 minutes. The temperature is then increased to between -8°C and -6°C.

2. Parevine

This product should not contain any meat products. It is prepared by the following method:

  • Blend the dry non-fat ingredients in water
  • Then heat the mixture to 49°C to facilitate mixing
  • Pasteurize the mixture at 71°C/15 minutes
  • Homogenize the mixture at 2800 PSI
  • Cool the product to 4°C and hold for 4 hours to facilitate aging
  • Add the flavor components
  • Freeze the mixture while adding air into the mixture. The over-run should be less than or equal to the volume of the mixture.

All the equipment used to handle parevine must not be used to handle meat. It is made from vegetable fat, sugar and cereals. You may use eggs and egg products in the manufacturing process of this product.

When adding emulsifiers, add 0.2% of it and up to 0.5% of stabilizers.

3. Frozen yoghurt

The yoghurt is manufactured the same way as any other normal yoghurt. However, the stabilizer used here should be acid stable (e.g. gelatin). After the yoghurt is obtained, it is frozen to make the frozen product.

The finished product should have 0.5 – 2% butter fat content and at least 8.25% MSNF.

The final acidity should range between 0.5 – 0.9% lactic acid. It should have a smooth texture and flavoring agents such as vanilla may be used. In some cases, fruits can be used as well to impart flavor and to improve nutritive value.

4. Mellorine

This is a cheaper compromise of ice cream. It is similar to parevine in composition, only that animal/dairy products may replace the vegetable ingredients used in parevine.

The final product should have between 6 – 8% fat content.

The most common vegetable oils used include sunflower, rapeseed, and cottonseed oil. The oils are hydrogenated to turn them to fats, which improves the flavor and texture of the end product.

0.5 – 1% of stabilizers are used in the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing process follows the same steps used in making the ice cream. The color and flavor differs from the conventional ice cream due to the presence of vegetable fat used.

5. Ice milk

Made from sucrose and milk (either condensed or whole milk).

The final product should have at least 4% butterfat, 2 – 7% MSNF, 12 – 15% sugar, 13% emulsifier, and 0.6% stabilizer. There should be 70% water and the overrun should not exceed 85%.

6. Sherbets

Have a tart (high fruit acid content at 0.35%) and the sugar content ranges between 25 – 35%.

Sherbets have a relatively low overrun at between 30 – 40% and the MSNF content ranges between 2 – 5%.

Citric acid is the common acidulant, which explains the tart. It is added just after freezing to avoid curdling of milk. Fruit juices or artificial flavors can be used.

The acidulant used should be able to withstand high acidity e.g. gelatin; however, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose and pectin may also be used.

The product is frozen at -23°C and aged for between 12 – 24 hours.

The mixture can be pasteurized after mixing or the individual dairy ingredients can be pasteurized separately before pasteurization.

13 Costly Ice Cream Defects And Their Remedies

Ice cream, just like any other food products have some defects that affect the quality. These ice cream defects may affect the flavor, the texture, the color, and the melting quality of the final product.

We will explore some of the common ice cream defects, their causes and how to control them.

Ice Cream Defects Related to Flavor

These defects depend on the type of ingredients you use to make the product. They include:

1. Sour/acidic flavor

With this defect, you notice a sudden tingling taste. It occurs when you fail to control the bacterial activity especially when you use poor quality dairy ingredients.

Control this defect by using only the exceptional quality raw materials for producing ice cream. Also control the aging process of the product.

2. Cooked flavor

You will usually perceive this defect as a caramel-like flavor. It happens when you use cream that has undergone excess heat treatment to make the product.

To control this defect, ensure that you do not overheat the cream during the heat treatment process.

3. Tallowy/oxidized metallic flavor

The ice cream tend to have a fishy/metallic smell and taste. It might be due to either using an expired ice cream, using poor quality dairy ingredients and/or poor storage conditions of the product.

To reduce the occurrence of this defect, control the quality of the raw materials. Use only the best ingredients for the manufacturing process. Also ensure strict adherence to the recommended storage conditions.

Check the product expiry date before consuming.

Ice Cream Defects Related to Texture

Defects that affects how the product feels when you eat it or feel it by hand. They include:

1. Coarse/grainy/icy texture

This defect typically arises due to use of low contents of butterfat, MSNF and stabilizers. It may also arise from inadequate freezing and/or temperature fluctuations during storage.

Grainy #icecream results from inadequate freezing/temperature fluctuations during storage. Click To Tweet

To control this, ensure that there is enough butterfat and MSNF content in the mix. Make sure that you keep the processing temperatures constant during freezing. Ensure you fully freeze the product to avoid uneven freezing.

2. Sandy/gritty texture

You tend to end up with slow melting crystals on the tongue after the ice cream has already melt. The defect may arise from use of high MSNF content in the mix (especially high levels of lactose), use of excess sugar, and/or temperature fluctuations during storage.

To reduce this defect, make sure you properly balance the ingredients of the mix and maintain proper freezing temperatures during manufacturing.

3. Crumbly/fluffy texture

The ice cream tends to fall off during cooking. The defect may result from excess overrun, using less emulsifier than expected, incorporating low content of solids (MSNF), and/or using inadequate stabilizers.

To avoid this defect, balance the ice cream mix ingredients properly. Avoid too much overrun in the product.

4. Gummy/elastic texture

The ice cream has an elastic feel in the mouth when eaten. The most likely cause is either use of excess stabilizers in the mix (most likely) or adding too much solids (especially sugar).

To avoid this defect, use just enough sugar and the stabilizers. The secret is in the mix formulation.

5. Greasy/buttery texture

The ice cream has a greasy mouth feel when you eat it. This is most likely due to inadequate homogenization of the milk, use of excess butterfat in the formulation and/or use of excess emulsifier in the mix.

Greasy #icecream is due to inadequate #homogenization, excess #butterfat or excess #emulsifier Click To Tweet

To control this defect, control the mix to ensure you have just the right amounts of butterfat and emulsifier in the product. Ensure proper homogenization of the milk before using it in the ice cream making process.

Ice Cream Defects Related to Melting

1. Rapid melting

The ice cream is not very stable and almost immediately turns to fluid when you expose it to the air/high temperatures. The most probable cause for this defect is the insufficient us of stabilizers and total solids.

To control this defect, ensure you have increased the total solids in the mix and there is sufficient stabilizer employment in the mix formulation.

2. Slow melting

The ice cream takes too much time to start melting when exposed to a high temperature. The most probable cause for this defect is too mush stabilizers and total solids in the mix.

Avoid this defect by ensuring a proper formulation and balancing of the mix such that no particular ingredient is too much for that particular mix.

3. Foamy melting

The ice cream develops foam as it melts when exposed to high temperatures. It is most probably due to too much overrun and low content of dry matter in the mix.

Control this defect by ensuring that you properly formulate the mix to include the required amounts of each ingredient.

4. Snowy melting

Here, you observe a snowy substance as the ice cream melts. This is most probably due to the use of too much emulsifier in the mix. Avoid this defect by ensuring that you use the right amount of emulsifier for the formulation.

5. Curdy melting

The ice cream has a wrinkled appearance as it melts. The defect most probably arises as a result of using ingredients that already have high acidity. It can also result from using a wrong stabilizer, or due to temperature fluctuations during storage of the finished product.

You can avoid this defect by using fresh ingredients (normal level of acidity of fresh milk), using the appropriate stabilizer for the mix, and ensuring that you maintain the storage temperatures at a constant level.

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Responses

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    1. Hi Poojary,
      Sorry for the late response, my spam filters held your comment in the queue.

      If you are starting large scale production of ice cream, you need a business plan. Once you have a feasible ice cream business plan, you will know the market potential (hence profits) and plan ahead for the supplies and ingredients.

      After ascertaining that you will have a stable supply of raw materials, you install your plant, and launch the business. You can look at some of the ice cream machines and recipes we recommend here.

      You can get supplies of pasteurized milk from a local processor or buy directly from the farm and do pasteurization yourself.

      After getting the recipe books we recommended, you will be able to determine the ingredients that you can find locally. For others, you may have to make special arrangements depending on where you live.

  1. Sir
    I’m starting a new icecream industry in India karnataka state Manipal udupi
    All ready I set the machineries (pasteurised homogenizer heagingvat cf )
    Some days after I starting the production (may be this month 28)
    Pls
    Send me & helpful me

    Thanking you
    V K POOJARY

    1. Hello,
      Congratulations on your new project. I will be glad to lend a helping hand to get your project rolling.
      Kindly send me an email with the details and I will get back to you.

  2. Dear Otieno,

    I am also on the process of establishing an ice cream business at Pondicherry. Would like to take your guidance

    1. To make a fruit fusion, you need to use a fruit pulp of your choice fruit. Once the base is ready, stir in the base into a uniform consistency. Please note, you are introducing the pulp after heat treatment hence need to ensure hygiene. The pulp will need to be pre-treated to avoid contaminating the entire batch. You will need to analyze the final product for nutritional content.

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