Frozen Desserts

Ice cream is the principal frozen dessert produced in the United States. Known as the American dessert, it was first sold in New York City in 1777. The composition of various frozen desserts is given in Table 4.

Ice Cream. Ice cream is a frozen dessert prepared from a mixture of dairy ingredients (16-35%), sweeteners (1320%), stabilizers, emulsifiers, flavoring, and fruits and nuts. Ice cream has 8 to 20% milkfat and 8 to 15% SNF with a total of 38.3% (36-43%) total solids. These ingredients can be varied. U.S. regulations also allow for reduced-fat ice cream (25% less fat than the reference ice cream), light ice cream (50% less fat or 1/3 fewer calories than the reference ice cream, as long as in the case of calorie reduction less than 50% of the calories are derived from fat), low-fat ice cream (not more than 3 g of fat per 1/2 cup serving), and nonfat ice cream (less than 0.5 g of fat per 1/2 cup serving). The dairy ingredients are milk or cream; milkfat, which is supplied by milk, cream, butter, or butter oil; as well as SNF, which is supplied by condensed whole, nonfat, or dry milk. The quantities of these products are specified by standards. Milkfat provides the characteristic texture and body in ice cream. Sweeteners are a blend of cane or beet sugar and corn syrup solids. Quantities of these vary, depending on the sweetness desired, cost, and effect on body and texture.

Stabilizers that improve the body of ice cream include gelatin, sodium alginate, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose, pectin, and guar gum. Emulsifiers such as lecithin, mono-glycerides, diglycerides, and polysorbates assist in the incorporation of air and improve the whipping properties. Commercial ice cream stabilizers and emulsifiers are usually available as a blend. Use of stabilizers and emulsifiers is optional, and it is possible to produce good-quality ice cream without them. The liquid mixture of components for making ice cream is called ice cream mix.

Preceded by a blending operation, the ingredients are mixed in a freezer that whips the mix to incorporate air and freezes a portion of the water. Freezers may be of a batch type for a small operation or continuous type, in which most commercial ice cream is produced.

Incorporation of air decreases the density and improves the consistency of ice cream. If one-half of the final volume is occupied by air, the ice cream has 100% overrun and weighs 0.53 kg/L. The ice cream from the freezer is at about — 5.5°C, with one-half of the water frozen, preferably in small crystals.

Packaged ice cream is hardened on plate-contact hardeners or by convection air blast as the product is carried on a conveyor or through a tunnel. Air temperatures for hardening are — 40 to — 50°C. The temperature at the center of the container as well as the storage temperature should be — 23°C or below. Approximately one-half of the heat is removed in the freezer and the remainder in the hardening process. Although ice cream is by far the most important frozen dessert, other frozen desserts such as ice milk, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and mellorine-type products are also popular.

Frozen Yogurts. Frozen yogurts have become popular with health-conscious consumers. Product formulations vary widely. Frozen yogurt usually consists of 80% ice milk mix and 20% yogurt.

Sherbets. Sherbets have a low fat content (1-2%), low milk solids (2-5%), and a sweet (25-35% sugar) but tart flavor. Ice cream mix and water ice can be mixed to obtain a sherbet. The overrun in making sherbets is about 25 to 40%.

Mellorine. Mellorine is similar to ice cream except that the milkfat is replaced with a vegetable fat (6% minimum). It contains 10 to 12% milk solids.

Nondairy Frozen Dessert. Nondairy frozen dessert is a frozen product containing no dairy ingredients. It may contain vegetable fat, vegetable protein, sugar, eggs, and stabilizers.

Other Frozen Desserts. Other frozen desserts include parfaits, ice cream puddings, novelties, and water ice products. New low-fat and nonfat products and products containing high-intensity sweeteners and fat replacers are being introduced to the market.

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