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The influence of various factors on the consistency and texture of sorbet


The Euroglace Code for Edible Ices defines the term sorbet as fruit ice with no added fat and containing at least 25% fruit. The fruit content may, however, be reduced to 15% for citrus fruit types and 5% for nuts and nut preparations. Preferences regarding the consistency and texture of sorbet vary considerably depending on the consumer group, legislation and application. The possibilities are many, ranging from very fresh, cold-eating types with relatively large ice crystals and coarse air distribution to very creamy, warm-eating types with comparatively small ice crystals and fine air distribution. There are several ways of regulating the consistency and texture of sorbet, which is influenced by both the recipe and processing method. Although the dosage of functional ingredients blends of whipping agents,

stabilisers and emulsifiers used in sorbet is very low, it has a major influence on the characteristics of the final product, providing the oppor tunity to produce the whole spectrum of consistency and texture profiles. Danisco has developed a special range of functional systems called CREMODAN 200 SORBETLINEwhich makes it possible to obtain sorbet with a wide variety of characteristics from creamy, warm-eating types to cold and fresh-eating types. The CREMODAN 200 SORBETLINEis gelatine-free and based on non-GMO raw materials.

Flavouring Acid Colouring


A standard sorbet contains the following ingredients: Water Sugars/sweeteners Fruit or fruit concentrate Whipping agents/stabilisers/emulsifiers





Sucrose Glucose syrup, 42 DE HFCS (42% fructose) Dextrose Fructose Invert sugar Lactose Galactose Sorbitol Glycerol Ethanol Lactitol Litesse Polydextrose Maltitol

342 445 190 180 180 180 342 180 182 92 46 362 570 344

1.0 0.8 1.8 1.9 1.9 1.9 1.0 1.9 1.9 3.7 7.4 1.0 0.6 1.0

1.0 0.3 1.0 0.8 1.7 1.3 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.8 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.9

The freezing point of the mix has a great influence on the consistency and texture of sorbet and is determined by the amount of dissolved solids. The more solids dissolved in the genuine solution, the lower the freezing point. This is caused by the sugars, the molar concentration determining the actual freezing point of the mix. In order to survey the effect of different products, it is necessary to consider two important factors regarding the lowering of the freezing point and the sweetening ability of various sugars and sweeteners. These factors are: freezing point depression factor (FPDF) and relative sweetness (Rel S). Sucrose is chosen as the datum point to be compared with the FPDF and the Rel S of each sweetener. Table 1 illustrates the FPDF and Rel S of different sugar/sweetener types. The calculated FPDF of a sorbet mix relates to the initial freezing point of the mix. The higher the FPDF, the lower the freezing point and the softer the final product. For instance, if a soft, scoopable sorbet is required, the FPDF of the mix should be high. Dextrose leads to greater freezing point depression than an equal amount of sucrose due to the difference in molecular weights, while glucose syrup depresses the freezing point less than sucrose.

Table 1. FPDF and Rel S of different sugars and sweeteners.

TM 2042-1e

If sucrose is the only sweetener used, a fresh, cold sorbet will be obtained with good flavour release and a slight tendency to brittleness. If the sorbet is kept in open cabinet freezers, a crusty layer may be formed on the surface of the sorbet due to sucrose crystallisation. This surface crystallisation can be avoided if approximately 25% of the sucrose is replaced with another sugar type, e.g. glucose syrup. It is not possible to give a precise description of how each type of sugar and sweetener affects the end product as this depends on many other factors. In general, it can be assumed that the use of monosaccharides and other carbohydrates with high freezing point depressing properties results in sorbets which are more brittle and icy and with better flavour release, fresh-eating properties and less heat-shock stability. In general, dextrose produces a relatively fresh-eating sorbet with a tendency towards a brittle texture which becomes more pronounced over time. Invert sugar, fructose and high fructose corn syrup provide a cold but very fresh sorbet with a relatively short texture and fast flavour release. Polysaccharides, e.g. glucose syrup, maltodextrin and Litesse, create higher mix viscosity and add more body/chewiness to the sorbet than monosaccharides such as dextrose and fructose. The final choice of sugar combination depends on the scoopability, sweetness and texture required for the final product. Guidelines can be established for creating sorbet recipes with the right scoopability, smoothness, fresh-eating properties and relative sweetness. For instance, a 25/30/40 combination, implying a relative sweetness of 25, 30% total solids and a FPDF of 40, give a very scoopable, smooth, slightly creamy but fresh-eating sorbet provided the overrun does not exceed 60%. If the sorbet has to be produced with, for example, 80% overrun, the freezing point depression

factor has to be reduced to 35 to avoid an excessively snowy, soft texture.


10-25 25-35 35-40

Hard Normal Soft, scoopable

By combining different sweeteners, it is possible to produce the desired softness and relative sweetness. Calculation of relative sweetness and FPDF Below are two examples of how to calculate relative sweetness and FPDF.

Sugar Glucose syrup solids, 42 DE Rel S: 25.0 x 1.0 + 5.0 x 0.3 = 26.5 FPDF: 25.0 x 1.0 + 5.0 x 0.8 = 29.0

25.00% 5.00%

concentrate or pure either before or after pasteurisation. Fruit juices are obtained from mature fresh fruit. If nothing has been added or taken away, the juice is said to be single strength. Fruit concentrate is fruit juice which has been concentrated by removing part of the water and usually some flavour compounds. High temperatures and vacuum treatment are generally used to achieve the concentration of 6-8 fold desirable for storing and distributing the product. However, other concentration procedures can be applied using different time/temperature combinations. By taking the specific gravity and Brix value of the concentrate, the fold can be calculated from the following equation:
Fold = S.G. of concentrate x Brix of concentrate S.G. of juice x Brix of juice

Brix = % of sucrose by weight in water at 20C S.G. = specific gravity at 20C


Sugar Glucose syrup solids, 42 DE Dextrose Rel S: 19.0 x 1.0 + 5.0 x 0.3 + 7.0 x 0.8 = 26.1 FPDF: 19.0 x 1.0 + 5.0 x 0.8 + 7.0 x 1.9 = 36.3

19.00% 5.00% 7.00%

No sugar added sorbet can be made by replacing sucrose with a bulking agent, such as Litesse, and sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, maltitol or lactitol. This, in combination with aspartame, acesulfame K and other artificial sweeteners, achieves sufficient bulking effect, freezing point depression and sweetness.

Fruit pure is the edible part of fruit (with or without peel, skin, seeds or pips) which has been sliced or crushed before being reduced to a pure by sieving or a similar process. In the same way as sugars and sweeteners, fruit also regulates the consistency and texture of sorbet by influencing the freezing point of the mix. Table 2 illustrates the FPDF and Rel S of different fruits (single strength). Calculation of FPDF and Rel S Below is described how three fruit sorbets with the same FPDF can obtain the same softness.

Sugar Glucose syrup solids, 42 DE Strawberry juice, single strength FPDF: 25.0 x 1.0 + 5.0 x 0.8 + 25.0 x 0.09 = 31.25 Rel S: 25.0 x 1.0 + 5.0 x 0.3 + 25.0 x 0.06 = 28.00

25.00 5.00 25.00

Fruit is either added to the sorbet mix before or after freezing but before hardening. After freezing, the fruit added can be in the form of fruit pieces or fruit ripple. Fruit added before freezing can be incorporated in the form of juice,


25.00 2.40 8.50

Sugar Glucose syrup solids, 42 DE Mango concentrate, 3 fold FPDF:

25.0 x 1.0 + 2.4 x 0.8 + 8.5 x 3 x 0.17 = 31.25 Rel S: 25.0 x 1.0 + 2.4 x 0.3 + 8.5 x 3 x 0.15 = 29.55


Sugar Glucose syrup solids, 42 DE Mandarin concentrate, 6 fold FPDF:

25.00 3.75 4.50

25.0 x 1.0 + 3.75 x 0.8 + 4.5 x 6 x 0.12 = 31.25 Rel S: 25.0 x 1.0 + 3.75 x 0.3 + 4.5 x 6 x 0.09 = 28.55

The type of fruit added to the sorbet formulation may have a considerable influence on whipping properties and air incorporation as some types of fruit contain substances which hinder air incorporation, e.g. terpenes in fruit peel. This is particularly the case when juice or fruit concentrates with a high content of etherical oils are used in the formulation. The fruit used in the sorbet may also contain pectin which has a positive influence on the finished product with regard to both texture and body.

Sugar is the main part of the total solids content, principally affecting the consistency and texture of the end product. If the total sugar content is too low (too low FPDF), the end product will become hard and brittle. On the other hand, an excessively high total sugar level (excessive FPDF) will result in a product that is too soft. Increased levels of sugar result in increased viscosity, leading to slower flavour release and a less fresh-eating product. It is, of course, possible to influence the mix viscosity and fresh-eating properties of the sorbet irrespective of the level of total solids by selecting the most suitable stabiliser system. Sorbet can be produced with a total solids content as low as 5.0% (12% solids is minimum according to legislation), but generally sorbet contains around 25.035.0% solids. If the solids content is not balanced, the end product will have a poor consistency and texture. This may result in a sorbet which is coarse, hard, snowy and sticky with a bleeding, crystallised surface. A brittle consistency indicates that incorrect whipping agents have been used or the dosage of whipping agent or

sugar is too low. A hard consistency can be caused by low overrun or insufficient sugar content, whereas a snowy consistency can be caused by the incorporation of too much air. A sticky consistency indicates an excessive dosage of stabiliser and sugar. Sometimes surface crystallisation takes place due to surface moisture evaporation. The defect known as bleeding is due to the precipitation of sugar syrup at the bottom of the container. The most common reasons for this are excessive overrun, insufficient stabiliser, excessively high FPDF, excessively high drawing temperature from the freezer, slow hardening or a storage temperature that is too high. Bleeding may also occur when large quantities of alcohol-containing ingredients are added. The defect can be avoided by using more effective stabilisers, reducing the sugar content or using suitable levels of overrun.

Flavourings may be added to ensure a good flavour impact on consumption. Sorbet is usually consumed at low temperatures of 20 to 10C. The lower the temperature of the sorbet on consumption, the lower the flavour impact.


Apple Apricot Banana Blackcurrant Cherry Grapefruit Lemon Mandarin Mango Melon Orange Passion Peach Pear Pineapple Raspberry Strawberry

10 10 22 7 11 7 3 8 13 5 10 10 8 10 12 5 5

2 3 8 3.5 4 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 2

6 1 6 3 7 2 1.5 2 1 1 3 4 1 7 2 2 2

2 6 8 0.5 1 2 0.5 4 9 3 5 3 6 1 7 1 1

0.10 0.12 0.28 0.09 0.13 0.09 0.03 0.09 0.15 0.06 0.11 0.11 0.09 0.10 0.14 0.06 0.06

0.18 0.14 0.35 0.13 0.22 0.12 0.05 0.12 0.17 0.07 0.15 0.16 0.10 0.18 0.17 0.09 0.09

Table 2. FPDF and Rel S of different fruit types, single strength. 3

For this reason, flavourings are usually needed to boost the flavour impression. The pH value is another important factor in determining the flavour impression. In sorbet, the pH value varies depending on the type of flavouring used, for example a lemon sorbet should have a lower pH value than a strawberry sorbet, which makes the lemon fresher eating than the strawberry sorbet. Sometimes the acidity originating from the added fruit is enough to give the required acidity, but often different acids have to be added. The most common acid type is citric acid, but other types, such as lactic acid, can also be used.

In order to obtain the desired characteristics in sorbet it is normally necessary to apply one or more functional ingredients. These can be divided into three categories: Whipping agents Stabilisers Emulsifiers None of these noticeably lower the freezing point but have a more indirect, protective effect. Whipping agents In order to obtain the desired overrun in sorbet, it is necessary to incorporate a whipping agent in the functional system. The selection of products in this area is continuously on the increase and, today, a wide range is available. Some of these agents also have a stabilising effect. Whipping agents have considerable influence on the air distribution in sorbet, provide a stable foam and enable the desired overrun to be obtained. Good air dispersion is very important to the consistency and creaminess of sorbet products, a fine stable disper sion giving the impression of a creamy taste. Brittleness is also largely controlled by whipping agents which, together with the correct stabiliser dosage, impart smoothness to the end product.

A sorbet that will not whip sufficiently cannot incorporate sufficient air and will be unable to achieve the desired overrun. It will have a very coarse air distribution, too low overrun and look something like a Swiss cheese when drawn from the freezer. The solution to such a problem is to replace the ingredient causing the problem, increase the amount of whipping agent or use another more appropriate type. Types of whipping agents used in sorbet: Milk/whey proteins Vegetable proteins Animal proteins (gelatine) Xanthan gum Derivatives of cellulose: - sodium carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) - methyl cellulose (MC) - methyl ethyl cellulose (MEC) Milk/whey proteins Milk/whey proteins, especially WPC, are highly suitable whipping agents for sorbet. An increased dosage of these agents improves air distribution, resulting in a fine structure and smooth consistency. The protein content of the various whipping agents varies, which means the required dosage levels of each milk/whey protein type are determined by the protein content. Vegetable proteins Vegetable whipping agents are modified (hydrolysed) vegetable proteins, which have more or less the same properties as milk/whey proteins. Animal proteins (gelatine) Gelatine is protein extracted from hides and bones and belongs to the group of animal whipping agents which add very fresh-eating characteristics to sorbet and have a stabilising effect. Gelatine with varying gel strengths (bloom) can be used. The lower the bloom strength, the lower the viscosity of the mix and the fresher the end product.

Xanthan gum Xanthan gum is an exocellular polysaccharide produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas Campestris which has a stabilising and whipping effect. As a whipping agent, xanthan gum is less powerful than milk proteins, vegetable protein and gelatine. Derivatives of cellulose Derivatives of cellulose are modified semi-synthetic gums with a whipping and stabilising effect. Like the other whipping agents, they ensure good air distribution, a fine structure and smooth consistency in sorbet. Methyl cellulose and methyl ethyl cellulose are oil tolerant, which means they do not lose their whipping ability in the presence of liquid oil present in the fruit/fruit concentrate or the flavouring used (etherical oils). Stabilisers Stabilising agents are added to sorbet for the same reason as they are added to ice cream. In both products, stabilisers bind and immobilise the water content. A correctly stabilised sorbet can withstand temperature shock and still retain its structure. The mouthfeel and flavour release of sorbet can be influenced by altering the stabiliser type, the various stabiliser combinations used and the dosage level. The following three factors are very important for the overall properties of sorbet: Type of stabiliser Stabiliser dosage Mix viscosity Dissolved stabilisers bind and immobilise large quantities of water, increasing the viscosity of the mix. This means that, during freezing, the mix incorporates and retains air more easily, enabling a higher overrun. Simultaneously, the stabiliser has a great effect on the organoleptic characteristics of the finished product. The choice and dosage of stabiliser determine

the body (chewing resistance) of the end product. The mix viscosity achieved by adding stabilisers is of vital importance to flavour release. High viscosity gives slower flavour release than low viscosity and may also give a creamy impression when the product melts in the mouth. Stabilisers also slow down ice crystal growth when sorbet is exposed to heat shock during storage and distribution. The most common types of stabilisers used in sorbet are: Locust bean gum (LBG) Guar gum Carrageenan Propylene glycol alginate (PGA) Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) Gelatine Pectin Xanthan gum Locust bean gum (LBG) Locust bean gum is derived from the seeds of the carob tree which grows in Mediterranean countries. The tree is around 20 years old before seeds can be obtained. Pods are harvested after falling to the ground and then kibbled to release the seeds. The gum is obtained from the endosperm layer between the husk and the germ. Extraction is physical, consisting of hot water, grinding and milling. LBG is a galactomannan comprised of a backbone of mannose with alternating galactose units attached. The ratio of mannose to galactose is approximately 4:1. LBG is only partially cold soluble and should be heated to achieve full hydration. It provides good mix viscosity and imparts good body, excellent melting properties and heat shock resistance. Guar gum Like LBG, guar is a galactomannan derived from seeds, in this case from the guar plant (Cyamopsis Tetragonoloba) grown mainly in India and Pakistan. The plant grows to about 0.7 metres in height, and the gum is formed in the region

between the husk and the germ. The extraction process is also very similar to LBG, requiring washing, grinding and milling. The ratio of mannose to galactose is approximately 2:1, as opposed to 4:1 in LBG. Guar is cold soluble and in sorbet provides excellent body and a smooth texture. Guar gum is cold water soluble. If excessive dosages of guar gum are used, it will give sorbet an off-taste and gummy consistency. Carrageenan Carrageenans are a group of polysaccharides derived from various species of red seaweed. Carrageenan consists of three main types, kappa, lambda and iota, depending on the source. Both kappa and iota carrageenans are able to form gel structures, whereas lambda carrageenan can only be used as a thickening agent. The function of carrageenan in sorbet is not well defined but some positive effects on the body of a sorbet can be observed. Carrageenan is an ionic hydrocolloid and is sensitive to low pH. Low pH and citrus fruit sorbet may cause precipitation. Propylene glycol alginate (PGA) PGA is the propylene glycol ester of alginic acid. The main difference between PGA and sodium alginate is that the latter is an ionic salt, whereas PGA is an ester of a polymeric acid and essentially non-ionic in character. This means PGA is not easily precipitated by acid interaction, making it suitable for acidic products like sorbet. In addition, the introduction of ester groups in the molecule contributes some lipophilic character and subsequent surface activity, giving PGA emulsifying and foaming properties. Sodium carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) CMC is produced from cellulose obtained from cotton or wood pulp. Cellulose is not water soluble unless esterified, when the useful cold water soluble dietary fibre CMC is formed.

CMC is heat stable and imparts a heavy body and smooth texture. Gelatine Gelatine is animal protein produced by alkaline or acid extraction from bovine bones or pig skin. Soluble in hot water, gelatine forms thermo-reversible gels and ensures rapid flavour release in sorbet. Pectin Pectin is a plant tissue which adds fresheating proper ties and controls ice crystal growth in sorbet. The primary sources of commercial pectin are citrus peel and apple pomace. Xanthan gum Xanthan gum is produced by fermenting carbohydrates and other appropriate nutrients for the bacteria Xanthomonus Campestris. Xanthan gum is cold soluble and exhibits viscosity synergy when combined with LBG and guar gum. Table 3 illustrates the characteristics of stabilisers when used individually in sorbet. When used as individual stabilisers in sorbet these types exhibit various positive and negative characteristics. The optimum combination of stabilisers makes it possible to obtain the positive effect of the individual stabilisers without the negative effect. Emulsifiers Mono-diglycerides are emulsifying agents made from triglycerides (edible fat). This type of emulsifier has been found extremely useful in ice cream and sorbet production. Mono-diglycerides are surface-active substances which seek to reduce the surface tension that appears when nonmiscible substances are dispersed in a liquid. In fat-free sorbet, this relates to the surface tension on the air/liquid interface. In sorbet production, mono-diglycerides are used to obtain a creamy texture. When emulsifiers are part of a functional system blend it is recommended that the mix is homogenised.






LBG Guar gum Carrageenan PGA CMC Gelatine Pectin Xanthan gum

0.1 - 0.25 0.1 - 0.25 0.04 - 0.08 0.1 - 0.15 0.1 - 0.25 0.4 - 0.8 0.1 - 0.3 0.1 - 0.25

Medium High Low High High Low/medium Low Low/medium

Fast/medium Slow Fast Medium Slow Fast/medium Fast Fast/medium

Medium body High body Low body Medium body High body Medium body Low body Medium body

Table 3. Characteristics of different stabilisers used individually in sorbet.

Mono-diglycerides alone are not effective whipping agents in sorbet.


Danisco has developed a range of functional systems, called CREMODAN 200 SORBETLINEEmulsifier & Stabiliser Systems, which can be used in all the different types of sorbet products. This range is wide enough to produce all the desired sorbet characteristics and meet any regional legislative requirements. CREMODAN 200 SORBETLINEis free of gelatine and any ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms. The range has been specially designed to meet modern requirements for high overrun and low pH in sorbet products.

Cooling to 5C pH adjustment Ageing (not necessary for sorbet production) Freezing in a continuous freezer Filling Hardening Storage Overrun, the drawing temperature from the freezer and hardening time have a big influence on the consistency and texture of the final product.

run will give a colder, more fresh-eating sorbet. Overrun is another important factor when a more scoopable sorbet is required, although raising overrun above the technically justifiable point will give problems with consistency and storage stability (e.g. shrinkage).

In addition to the composition of the ingredients, processing also affects the consistency and texture of the final product. Sorbet processing consists of the following steps: Mix preparation Pasteurisation and homogenisation (recommended if functional systems contain mono-diglycerides)

Traditionally, industrially-produced sorbet has been made with an overrun of 4060%. Today overrun requirements have changed, and it is now quite common for sorbet to be produced with 80-100% overrun or even higher. In order to achieve this high overrun, it is necessary to modify the standard formulation by using higher levels of total solids and/or increasing the dosage level of functional systems and/or applying a functional system with improved whipping properties. Generally, the higher the overrun, the creamier and smoother the product obtained, whereas a low over-

The drawing temperature from the freezer has a substantial influence on the consistency and texture of sorbet. A low drawing temperature produces sorbet with very small ice crystals and a creamy consistency, while a higher drawing temperature means the ice crystals become bigger and a more cold-eating sorbet is produced.



High Low

Low High



When the sorbet leaves the continuous freezer, some 30-70% of the water content is frozen, depending on the recipe composition and the drawing temperature. When completely hardened at 30C in the cold store, around 90% of the water in sorbet is frozen. It is not known exactly how much water can be frozen as a hardened amorphous phase, but it is believed that about 90% is frozen no matter how low the temperature. The remaining water is either bound so firmly to the carbohydrates and stabiliser molecules that it cannot be frozen or is present in liquid form as highly concentrated salt/sugar syrup.

Table 4. Effects of different processing conditions on the consistency and texture of sorbet. 6

As the temperature of the sorbet decreases during the hardening process, the ice crystals formed in the freezer grow and the ice phase content is increased. No new ice crystal nuclei are formed during the hardening process. The hardening speed is important as it determines the size of the ice crystals in the finished products. It is generally maintained that the faster a sorbet is frozen, the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother the product. A long hardening time leads to big ice crystals and a fresh, cold-eating sorbet. Table 4 shows the effect on the consistency and texture of sorbet when using different processing conditions.

The consistency and texture of sorbet are determined by many factors the composition of the recipe, the raw materials, ingredients and the processing conditions. This means there are several ways of regulating consistency and texture and that it is possible to obtain a specific consistency or texture in more than one way.

Danisco A/S Edwin Rahrs Vej 38 DK-8220 Brabrand, Denmark Telephone: +45 89 43 50 00 Telefax: +45 86 25 10 77

The information contained in this publication is based on our own research and development work and is to the best of our knowledge reliable. Users should, however, conduct their own test to determine the suitability of our products for their own specific purposes. Statements contained herein should not be considered as a warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and no liability is accepted for the infringement of any patents.