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.)
Certain ingredients allow ice cream to travel farther and recover from heat shock. But that doesn’t matter to the label-reading consumer. Here are some strategies for ice cream manufacturers to deliver a cleaner label.
In our May column, we discussed the so-called “rare” sugars. These are sugars found in nature but at ultra-low levels. The most commercially available rare sugars are tagatose and allulose, recognized as providing sucrose-like sweetness (~ 0.90 and ~0.70, respectfully) at significantly lower caloric contributions (1.5 and 0.20 calories per gram, respectively).