Manufacturing high quality ice cream with high overrun
What is an ice cream?
Ice cream is a complex system of foam, containing a gas (air) dispersed as small cells in a partially frozen continuous phase. In the continuous phase fat is dispersed as an inner phase in an emulsion, where the milk solids and stabilizers are in a colloidal solution and sugar and salts form a true solution.
The importance of air in ice cream
Air is an important component in ice cream affecting the physical and sensory properties as well as the storage stability. Ice cream normally has around 100 % over-run meaning that the air makes up 50 % of the ice cream volume. The amount of air incorporated into the mix influences the sensory attributes of the ice cream. If a lower amount of air is applied, the resulting ice cream is dense, heavy and more cold eating.
If a higher amount is used, the texture is lighter, creamier and more warm eating.
Producing ice cream with a high overrun
Production of ice cream with high overrun is an interesting tool for cost saving. However, the perceived quality by the consumer has to be kept in mind. The sensory attributes such as creaminess and smoothness as well as resistance to shrinkage and melting cannot be compromised as these properties are very closely linked to consumer preferences.
Creaminess as well as melting resistance is related to the distribution of air cells in the product. A more uniform air cell distribution in the ice cream results in a creamier and slower melting ice cream. Emulsifiers like mono-and diglycerides are well known for their positive influence in this respect.