Chapter 2 What is Ice Cream?

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Chapter 2 What is Ice Cream?

Clearly premium ice cream with big pieces of fruit and nuts


Commercial, mass produced ice cream began in the USA in 1929 but ice cream made in small batches has been around for hundreds of years. Stories about the origins of ice cream–in China, in Persia, in Asia, in Europe go back into antiquity–but none of them have been substantiated.

Ice cream’s origins are known to reach back as far as the second century B.C. During the Roman Empire, Nero Claudius Caesar (A.D. 54-86) frequently sent runners into the mountains for snow, which was then flavored with fruits and juices. Maybe that’s just as well—there is no single truth—ice cream is multi-national—it belongs to us ALL. TAGS: ice cream business Ice cream machines Ice cream ingredients ice cream supplies Ice cream manufactureB Ice cream equipment Ice cream factory ice cream machine Ice Cream School ice cream franchise

Great ice cream needs great milk-buy the best!

Butterfat an important part of ice cream, contributing to its texture, taste and aroma. It plays an important role in bonding the dissimilar components of ice cream. There are products that mimic butterfat but high butterfat (8-10%) still represents more than 78% of the ice cream market.

Butterfat consists of many triglycerides (different types of fat), which solidify at widely different temperatures. When ice cream mix is frozen some of the triglycerides remain liquid and some solidify, with every variation in between. This adds to complexity of taste, which is exciting.   Ice cream is in fact classified by its butterfat content:

Class           Butterfat        Milk Solids   Sugars         Solids

Gelato                 6-8%            11-12%       10-15%          32-34%

Economy            10-12%          10-11%       14-17%          35-37%

Trade                 11-12%          10-11%       14-17%          37-39%

Deluxe                13-14%             8-9%       13-17%          39-40%

Premium              14-16%            7-8%       13-17%          40-41%

Super Premium   18-20%`           6-8%       16-17%          42-44%

Premium and Super Premium: means that the ingredients are top-of-the-line and air is limited to 40-50%.

Ice cream shops usually sell premium or super premium ice cream. The quality of the ingredients and the amount of air whipped into the product are factors that separate the best from the rest.

There are other things that make premium or super premium ice cream superior. The machines that make it are more expensive, the flavours are usually all-natural, made with fresh or frozen fruit. The vanilla in premium and super premium is all-natural. The cheaper brands mix artificial vanilla with a little natural. Also, the solids in premium ice cream are fortified with skim or buttermilk, not whey, which improves texture.

While Ben & Jerry and Haagen Dazs, Bryers, etcetera are internationally-known, quality brands, but many local manufacturers produce equally good products. and communities always appreciate their own products. You may get more service, more free promotion and the benefit of local pride by selling them. TAGS: Ice cream ingredients ice cream supplies Ice cream manufacture Ice cream equipment ice cream machine Ice cream factory ice cream franchise Ice Cream School

Italian gelato elaborate presentation boosts sales

Gelato: Although too low in butterfat content to legally be called “ice cream” gelato is a premium form of ice cream. It is actually heavier (more dense) than commercial ice cream because it has more solids and less air. Most gelato is all-natural and made with real fruit flavors and natural vanilla. For this reason and the lavish amount of milk solids, gelato is considered “super premium.”

The main composition difference between gelato and commercial ice cream is that it contains about 20-35% less air, 15% less sugar and 60% less butterfat than premium ice cream. They are replaced with milk solids. This makes gelato much healthier and the flavors more intense but the smaller amount of air results in more milk solids per scoop, hence higher ingredient cost.

Another difference between gelato and commercial ice cream is the factory cost, which is huge. However, once the commercial factory is set up and running, manufacturing costs are very low, output is high and few workers are required to run it, whereas a gelato factory is more like a commercial kitchen and has a higher overhead.

“Continuous” manufacturing: The most common type of ice cream sold today is made commercially using the “continuous” manufacturing process. This consists of feeding a steady stream of liquid ”mix” and highly pressurized air into a freezing chamber where it is frozen under high pressure to about -6 to -12°C, then scraped off the freezing cylinder before being extruded “downstream” as they say, into other machines that shape, form and package the product. Read more about the continuous process in our eBook, Gelato Maker’s Guide.

After being extruded from the continuous freezer, the ice cream may be mixed with “inclusions” such as nuts or fruit bits from a hopper or extruded in various forms. Then the ice cream is blast frozen and packed. TAGS: ice cream business Ice cream machines Ice cream ingredients ice cream supplies Ice cream manufacture Ice cream equipment ice cream machine Ice cream factory ice cream franchise

A delightful little Dream Cones ice cream cake

Ice Cream Specialties

Ice cream can be made into many products that broaden your product line and boost sales. Certainly among these are ice cream cakes, rolls and sandwiches. Soft serve is another type of specialty but if you do not want to sell it, a soft serve machine can be used to make milkshakes and frozen yoghurt.

Ice cream cakes and rolls

are very popular and they represent an important part of your takeout product line. People buy cones and sundaes to eat on-the-spot but they buy ice cream cakes and rolls to take home. These products plus cookies, cakes, pastry, candy and even light food supplement your eat-on-the-spot sales and adds to your bottom line. Over time you develop a nice market for these products which may end up representing 20% of your total sales. TAGS: ice cream business Ice cream equipment ice cream machine Ice cream factory ice cream franchise Ice Cream School ice cream supplies


If you make your own ice cream, cakes, rolls and ice cream-on-a-stick are easy to make. If not, most large ice cream manufacturers sell them. In both cases it is wise to learn how to use a pastry sleeve to write on ice cream cakes, so you can create specialized messages such as “Happy Birthday Cheryl.”

Ice cream cakes and rolls can be placed in a display freezer along with tub ice cream but usually they are marketed in an upright freezer. In order to sell them you will require a sturdy box, possibly insulated and most vendors also keep a stock of dry ice so the product does not melt.

The problem customers have with an ice cream cake is that it is so large that the customer would have to empty most of the freezer of their home refrigerator to keep it. This is the reason why dry ice is so important. Just a half-kilo (a pound) of dry ice will keep an ice cream cake frozen 4-6 hours.

Having your own baking department means having a 1 or 2 deck oven, a mixer, a food processor and some decorating equipment. Of course it also means having a baker full or part time. An alternative is to find someone who loves to bake who can make baked goods for you in their home. This saves you space, machinery investment, salary and bookkeeping expenses.

Products made at home are purchased by the piece and you can usually order in the late afternoon for delivery the next morning. If you are offering cakes you will want to develop a photo catalogue showing what you sell. If you are franchising your franchisor usually has this for you.

Other Frozen Desserts

 Sorbets and sherbets are frozen desserts made without milk. Sorbets are  tart,  more intensely flavored than ice cream and very refreshing.

Sherbets are similar in composition to ice cream but contain only 2% vegetable fat and no milk. They are less tart than sorbets and more smooth but more intensely flavored than ice cream.

Soy ice cream is a frozen dessert similar to ice cream made without milk products. Our Soy-So Delicious!® is made with soy protein which has no flavor. The product tastes the same as gelato. This is a small market but almost no-one caters to it, so it can be very lucrative, attracting lifetime customers.

 Sugar-free products Today, most countries (except the USA) offer maltitol-sweetened desserts. Maltitol tastes just like table sugar and has no aftertaste. It is a sweetener made from starch that has 40% less calories than table sugar and does not raise blood glucose levels as much.

In the EU, “sugar-free” products that contain fruit, which has some natural sugar in it must be called “no-sugar added” instead of “sugar-free.”

Frozen Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a cultured milk product made from the action of bacteria, producing lactic and acetic acid and carbon dioxide. These give yoghurt its characteristic fresh taste and smell. Whereas most ice cream has 31-38% solids, natural yoghurt is about 12-15% solids. This makes it very tasty as a kind of light custard but much too light to have the thickness, creaminess and intense taste of yoghurt ice cream.

Yoghurt is a fad you don’t want to miss.

Yoghurt can be flavored with syrup or ice cream flavoring. It can be frozen in a soft serve machine and chopped fruit and fruit juice can be added making it into a smoothie. An emulsifier/stabilizer can be added and it can be made into an ice cream like product in a batch freezer.

Kids love soft serve and ours is the best!

Soft serve

Soft serve is just ice cream made in a specialized batch freezer.  The mix is slightly different than gelato mix but not much. Milk shakes and softies such as yoghurt smoothies can also be made in a soft serve machine.

Soft serve is a very appealing product, especially for children (50% of sales). Since it is served at about -6°C (the same temperature as gelato extruded from a typical batch freezer) the relative warmth makes it taste creamier and also reduces the amount of sugar needed.

 Soft serve has several big advantages over hard ice cream: you do not need a display freezer, a blast freezer or trained manufacturing personnel. To instal, just plug it in!. You have little overhead as the machines take up little space. Therefore, profit is higher compared to hard ice cream.

Soft Serve-Quality:

Almost everywhere soft serve is a low-end product sold at low price. The product is rarely labeled “ice cream” mainly because it usually does not have sufficient butterfat to qualify. In addition, non milk vegetable proteins exceed the ice cream maximums of most governments regarding substitutes for milk solids. Last but not least, many ingredients are artificial, especially the flavors.

Super scoop from machine with air compressor


Why is low-end so popular?

Soft serve manufacturers quickly learned that children represented about 50% of their market. It was easier to target them with child-oriented advertising. Children are not sophisticated enough to taste quality. In addition, kids love making it.So, cheaper bases with artificial flavours drove prices down.

Disadvantages of selling soft serve:

Fast food vendors such as McDonalds, Burger King, etc. compete on the basis of price. This led to a relentless downward spiral of profits. Today, quality soft serve is making a come-back because of the soft yoghurt trend. People are starting to open fancy soft serve kiosks offering many flavors and often a self-serve topping bar.

Advantages of selling soft serve:

In the right place, where there is no competition from the Big Guys or at fairs or special events soft serve can be a big winner, especially if combined with the right graphics and marketing. Even in these places, however, the public is aware that soft serve is a low-end product and they resist upward pricing

Packaged ice cream

Packaged ice cream is another way to boost sales and becomes a steady part of your income over time. Small, 4 oz. cups are popular take-always and having an insulator bag and dry ice encourages people to buy quantity. Gelato makers often sell 6-packs of scoops.

Although most of your customers arrive understanding that your premium products are priced above the low-end market, some economy conscious people, especially if they have several children may resist the higher prices. Having less expensive alternatives like cheap packaged cones or sandwiches can save a sale.

Terms used in the ice cream industry:

Milk solids non-fat (MSNF): also called “serum solids.” These are the non-liquid, non fat solids, as are found in powdered skim milk.

Base: All of the solids used to make ice cream, including milk solids, sugars, fats and emulsifiers. Oils are considered “solids.”

Inclusions: any solids, such as nuts or candy bits added to the ice cream after it is made.

To calculate overrun: (finish volume-start volume/start volume) x 100.

Mix: ice cream base including the liquids.

Overrun: refers to the volume increase after the mix is made into ice cream. Overrun consists mainly of air but also includes expansion in volume of water that has been converted into ice.

Example: 3L mix becomes 4L of ice cream: 4-3=1; 1/3 x 100= 33% overrun. The mix is expanded by 33%. The finished ice cream contains 25% air.

Display: Gelato’s freezing point is a little lower than commercial ice cream. Commercial ice cream can be kept hard at -15°C but gelato requires -18°C. This may appear to be a small difference but it is important when buying a display freezer. Many ice cream freezers only freeze to -15°C. Be sure you buy one cold enough to keep your product hard! TAGS: icecream supplies selling ice cream batch freezers ice cream ice cream Batch Machines gelato italian ice cream Ice Cream School ice cream franchise