Ice crystals in ice cream are no more

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Related tags: Ice cream, Ice, Danisco

Danisco believes it has made ice crystals in ice cream a thing of
the past by creating a technology that will help manufacturers
control heat shock, reports Philippa Nuttall.

Heat shock is one of the greatest problems faced by ice cream makers, but Danisco is heralding its patent pending technology, as the solution. The company estimates that ice cream produced with Grinsted IcePro stabilizers had ice crystal growth that was 37-57 percent smaller than ice cream produced with conventional stabilizers.

Temperature fluctuations in the environment surrounding the ice cream, such as those present during distribution and home storage cause ice crystal growth. Throughout shelf life, ice crystals continue to grow, eventually becoming detectable within the mouth. When this occurs, a once smooth textured ice cream becomes rough textured and its flavor can taste off.

Grinsted IcePro is a stabilizer/emulsifier system that protects ice cream through multiple heat shock cycles.

The company noted that other methods used to address the problem of heat shock, such as alternate stabilizer/emulsifier systems, cold extrusion and ice crystal structure proteins (ISP) have proven expensive and ultimately ineffective.

"Most stabilizers, such as galactomannans, xanthan, CMC and MCC have little to no impact on the ice crystal nucleation process, and only limited impact on the recrystallization process,"​ said Danisco in a statement.

"Cold extrusion can suppress initial ice crystal size, but does not reduce recrystallization. ISP's generally change the texture of the ice cream in which they are used, resulting in hard, brittle desserts, while ice crystal growth suppression through an increase of solids in an ice cream mix and through high locust bean gum stabilizer/emulsifier systems have proven only marginally effective and are expensive alternatives."

Unlike previously available methods, Grinsted IcePro both produces smaller initial ice crystals and controls ice crystal growth throughout shelf life, according to the company, making it an economical alternative to improve the apparent quality of mass produced bottom to medium quality ice cream.

"IcePro is a perfect stabilizer/emulsifier system for traffic brand ice creams or mid to high quality ice creams in which we have seen the biggest impact in eating quality,"​ said Jennifer Lindsey, the product manager of functional systems at Danisco.

The technology is currently undergoing mini-plant trials, which according to Lindsey have been "phenomenally successful"​.

"Every customer who has seen the technology has been impressed,"​ she told FoodNavigatorUSA.com​, adding that these clients have then gone on to do their own mini-plant trails, gone straight into plant trials, or asked Danisco to see how this product could work with their existing technology.

She noted that the clients interested in IcePro included those of all shapes and sizes, though she wouldn't expect any actual sales to take place until next year.

In terms of price, Lindsey admitted that this was a "premium price"​ technology so that in theory it would cost a customer more money to make the ice cream. However, she pointed out that because the technology makes the ice cream taste more like a premium product, the manufacturers may be able to reduce costs at another stage of the manufacturing process.

"Ice cream made using Grinsted Ice-Pro seems to be drier than some ice creams, making it taste like a premium brand,"​ she said.

The life-span of the ice cream is also extended in the sense the product appears to taste better longer.

"We estimate we an extend the shelf-life of a product by three to six months,"​ she said, though noted that every formulation is different.

And Danisco doesn't intend to stop there. Sometime around February it intends to launch Ice-Pro technology for use in reduced fat and low-fat ice creams and sherbets. Lindsey, said, moreover, that in theory this technology could work in other frozen foods, but for the moment the company is sticking to finding solutions for ice-cream

The technology will be marketed in the US as Grinsted Ice-Pro and in the rest of the world under the Cremoaen brand.

Related topics: Ingredients, Ice Cream

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