A comment on industrially produced ice cream



Portræt af Mikael Hertig

Mikael Hertig (c) 2015

I am also byuing ice cream now and then. It is just a habit. But the so called ice cream is almost regardless of price a soggy, sickly  and indigestible sealants-like mass.

Let me explain what is wrong. You can produce ice cream in to ways: In the classical French-Italian manner or the American. The ice cream you buy – at least in Denmark – is produced by use of the American method.

The English author Elizabeth David wrote about the American ice cream method in “Italian Kitchen”. She described how the indigestible mass in the stomach creates some sort of a canon ball regularly  sending acid reflux back through the esophagus.

Why am I so agressive?

The ideas of the American preparation method are two: To reduce cost and to artificially optimizing the consistency (viscosity).  It is all about reducing the natural water content. Water will crystallize during freezing, and crystals in the product is anticipated negatively.
For this reason  cream is substituted by butter. This substitution forces the producer to add some texture agents.
For this purpose the producer adds milk powder (or condensation milch) and  glucose to the butter.
The milk powder serves as dry matter and the glucose as glue. Glucose is sugar in the chemical form cells gets through the blood when other carbondioxides have been transformed in the liver. Beside the glucose sugar is added both for the taste and as further optimizing og consistency.

However, we have not finished looking at consistency yet. A little more  food chemistry is needed.

When observing the  declaration of a food product it is normal to divide it into protein, fat and carbondioxides. In reality, the amount of not organic material (“ashes”) is not specified. Ashes can be seen is sand.

Further optimizing is still necessary. You will still have to mix water and fat in some manner. This is called emulsion.   If  you have tried to produce home made sauce bearnaise you know a method. In the kitchen it is normal to use egg yolk for this purpose. This is too expensive following the American preparation method.  The typical product is soy lecithin.

But this is not enough: For the sake of consistency you will find locus bean gum and guar gum (as in chewing gum) in the American recipe.

The trouble comes from the sand and ashes, the chewing gum, the locus bean gum and the glucose. Normally we don’t eat wall paper paste. Wall paper paste is too wet. This  hardened ball of glue, fat, sand and sugar is decidedly not suitable as food. It merely could be used in permafrost building. Diabetics shoud be fully aware of this.

It is better to use french/italian way.  The italian/french model is based on the idea that you can buy the first class products at the super market. Cream, milk, eggs, strawberrys, chocolate, vanilla, etc.

You can either use the parfait method       

(egg yolk whipped with sugar turned into whipped cream, The mass poured into a form. The ice should be stirred during  or make use of an ice cream machine. (sorbetiere).

The advantage of the ice cream machine solution is that the crystals consequently are destroyed during the freezing proces.
The reason why I am agressive is that the industry just could choose to produce ice cream products following the original italian way.

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