The pending change to nutrition labeling regulations requiring the declaration of "added sugars" (AS) in the Nutrition Facts panel is likely to make AS content the subject of competitive market positioning. The pending increase in ice cream serving size from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup (which increases AS by >30% per serving) further complicates AS management.
We have often noted the importance of various phenomena, including the agglomerated fat matrix and the size of ice crystals and air bubbles, to the sensory appeal and structural properties of ice cream. Key to managing these phenomena is a complex set of highly variable (sometimes unknown) functionalities.
Each innovative modification of ice cream mix processing must consider what is to be modified and the influence (+/-) on multiple-unit operations (i.e., assembly of amount/type of ingredients, creation of a uniform mix, pasteurization, homogenization, mix aging). Each operation has its own set of influences (+/-) on the chemistry and physics of any given mix going forward into other downstream processes.
Need we remind ourselves, ice cream remains the only food produced with the express intent of being consumed frozen. Relevant "rules of engagement" (i.e., Mother Nature's rules of chemistry and physics) are not likely to change any time soon. Thus, contemplating the demands on any given ice cream mix relative to compositional changes under consideration is daunting.
The perception of any given added ice cream flavoring is influenced, for good or bad, by appearance, aroma, acidity, taste (sweet, salty, bitter, sour), texture (smooth, creamy, rich) and temperature, including appropriate temperature-related chemistries of any given flavor.
Ice cream formulation and processing have historically complied with the provisions of the U.S Standards of Identity (SOI) for Frozen Desserts with regard to composition, weight and, specifically, allowable ingredients.
Gelato is most commonly presented for sale in a dip shop as a semi-solid product characterized by intense color and flavoring. Composition of gelato varies widely and may be positioned as gourmet, super premium or other market terminologies.
As we have often noted, ice cream is the only food intended to be consumed frozen. Thus, dairy processors need to protect that which fails first, i.e., body and texture (which can be described as bite, chew, smoothness and creaminess.)