Ice cream is a frozen blend of a sweetened cream mixture and air, with added flavorings.

A wide variety of ingredients are allowed in ice cream, but the minimum amounts of milk fat, milk solids (protein + lactose + minerals), and air are defined by Standards of Identity in the U.S.  The mixture of these constituents, before the air is incorporated and the mixture frozen, is known as the ice cream mix.  The mix composition may be made richer or leaner in fat, MSNF (milk solids-nonfat) and total solids, depending on market requirements.  A good average ice cream would contain about 12% milk fat, 11% MSNF, 15% sugar, 0.2% stabilizer, 0.2% emulsifier, and a trace of vanilla. 

This would give 38.4% total solids and the remainder would be

water: 55% to 64%, is water, which comes from the milk. 
To this might be added other ingredients such as nuts, fruit, chocolate, eggs, and additional flavorings Deluxe and French ice cream may have 18% fat, economy ice creams 10% fat, and ice milk products only 4% fat.  Milk fat is the most expensive major ingredient of ice cream, and so the higher the fat content, generally the more expensive the product.  The ingredients used to supply this composition include:  a concentrated source of the milkfat, usually cream or butter  a concentrated source of the milk solids-not-fat component, usually evaporated milk or milk powder 

sugars including sucrose and "glucose solids", a product derived from the partial hydrolysis of the corn starch component in corn syrup; and  milk

Functions of Ingredients Each of the major ingredients in ice cream serves specific functions and contributes particular attributes to the final product. 
Milk fat gives the product a rich flavor and its smooth texture and body (creamy body). The fat is also a concentrated source of calories and contributes heavily to the energy value of ice cream. 

Milk solids-nonfat (MSNF) contribute to the flavor and also give body and desirable texture to ice cream.  Higher levels of MSNF also permit higher overruns without textual breakdown. (enhancing the ability of ice cream to hold its air).  Sources of nonfat solids include milk, cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, dry milk, and whey.

Sugar (Sweeteners ) adds sweetness to the product.. Sweeteners also lower the freezing point of the mix to allow some water to remain unfrozen at serving temperatures. A lower freezing point makes ice cream easier to scoop and eat, although the addition of too much sugar can make the product too soft. Sweeteners used include sugar (sucrose) and corn syrups. 

Milk solids-nonfat (MSNF) contribute to the flavor and also give body and desirable texture to ice cream.  Higher levels of MSNF also permit higher overruns without textual breakdown. (enhancing the ability of ice cream to hold its air).  Sources of nonfat solids include milk, cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk, dry milk, and whey.

Sugar (Sweeteners ) adds sweetness to the product.. Sweeteners also lower the freezing point of the mix to allow some water to remain unfrozen at serving temperatures. A lower freezing point makes ice cream easier to scoop and eat, although the addition of too much sugar can make the product too soft. Sweeteners used include sugar (sucrose) and corn syrups.

o Stabilizers are proteins or carbohydrates used in ice cream to add viscosity and control ice crystallization. o Over time during frozen storage small ice crystals naturally migrate together and form larger ice crystals. o Stabilizers help to keep the small crystals isolated and prevent the growth of large crystals, (by binding water stabilizers help to prevent large ice crystals from forming during freezing) which causes ice cream to be coarse, icy and unpleasant to eat. Stabilizers used include alginates [carageenan-Carrageenan is a natural sulphated polysaccharide (carbohydrate) extracted from red seaweed], gums (locust bean, guar-A water-soluble paste made from the seeds of the guar plant and used as a thickener and stabilizer in foods and pharmaceuticals ), and gelatins. 

Emulsifiers are used to help keep the milk fat evenly dispersed in the ice cream during freezing and storage.  A good distribution of fat helps stabilize the air incorporated into the ice cream and provide a smooth product.  Emulsifiers used in ice cream include egg yolks and mono- and diglycerides.

Ice Cream Manufacture 
The basic steps in the manufacturing of ice cream are generally as follows:  Blending of the mix ingredients (Preparation of mix)  Pasteurization  Homogenization  Aging the mix  Freezing Hardening

Figure. Process flow diagram for ice cream manufacture

Blending 
The first step in preparing ice cream mix (The mixture of the ingredients before the air is incorporated and the mixture frozen, is known as the ice cream mix) is to combine the liquid ingredients in a mixing vat and bring them to about 430C. The sugar and dry ingredients (The milk fat source, nonfat solids- is made up from the non-fat portion of the cream, from the condensed skim milk, and from the whole milk, stabilizers and emulsifiers) are next added to the warm mix which helps dissolve them. Gross particulates such as nuts or fruits are not added at this time since they would be disintegrated during subsequent processing. Instead, they are added during the freezing step.

Pasteurization The mix is now pasteurized by a batch or continuous heating process. 
Pasteurization temperatures are higher than for plain milk since the high fat and sugar contents tend to protect bacteria from heat destruction.  In a batch pasteurization system, blending of the proper ingredient amounts is done in large jacketed vats equipped with some means of heating, usually steam or hot water. The product is then heated in the vat to at least 710 C and held for 30 minutes for the destruction of pathogenic bacteria.  For continuous pasteurization (HTST) 82oC for 25 sec.  Continuous pasteurization is usually performed in a high temperature short time (HTST) heat exchanger in a large, insulated feed tank. The HTST system is equipped with a heating section, a cooling section, and a regeneration section.

Homogenization 
One of the factors which contributes largely to the smoothness of ice cream is the fineness of the subdivision and the degree of dispersion of the butterfat globules. If these globules are large, the ice cream may be coarse. In order to break these down, a machine called a homogenizer, or a viscolizer, is used. In principle, this is a powerful pump which forces the liquid through very small orifices. The pressures may run up to 4000 pounds per square inch. The average diameter of a butterfat globule in milk or cream may be about 3 to 8 microns (1 micron is 1/25,000 inch) ; after homogenization, it is about 1 to 2 microns. Homogenization also ensures that the emulsifiers and stabilizers are well blended and evenly distributed in the ice cream mix before it is frozen.  Homogenization increases resistance to melting. 

To keep the fat droplets small it is necessary to stabilize the emulsion with a surfactant. There are two types of surfactant in ice cream: milk proteins (e.g. casein) and emulsifiers (e.g. monodiglycerides or lecithin from egg yolks or soy beans).
Aging 

The mix is cooled down to about 50C, below the melting point of the fat, which begins to crystallize. This is known as ageing. So now we have created one component of the microstructure² the fat droplets. The reason why we need small, partly crystalline fat droplets will become apparent in the next stage of manufacture, when the mix is converted into ice cream by aerating and freezing it. 

The mix is held anywhere from 3 to 24 hours at a temperature of 5oC or lower in vats.  This allows time for the fat to cool down and crystallize  For proteins to fully hydrate (milk proteins swell with water)  For stabilizers to fully hydrate (swells and combines with water)  Viscosity of mix is increased.  These changes lead to quicker whipping (cream that becomes thicker when it is stirred quickly) to desired overrun1 in the freezer, smoother ice cream body and texture, and slower ice cream meltdown.

Overrun1 
The increase in volume caused by whipping air into the mix during the freezing process is known as overrun. While the mix is being violently agitated in the freezer to produce uniform freezing, the air is incorporated by the whipping action of the dasher. The increase in the volume of the mix is known as the swell or overrun.  If there were no air, the ice cream would be far too hard to get a spoon into.  The usual range of overrun in ice cream is from 70% to 100%.  If ice cream has 100% overrun, then it has a volume of air equal to the volume of mix that was frozen. 

In other words, 1 liter of mix makes 2 liters of frozen ice cream of 100% overrun. The overrun of any ice cream can be calculated from the formula:

Freezing 
The process involves freezing the mix and incorporating air. The freezers consist of a refrigerated barrel, with a rotating dasher inside, which is equipped with scraper blades (figure 1).  Ice cream mix (at approximately 5oC) is pumped into the barrel.

Freezing is the core ice cream manufacturing process. The factory ice cream freezer converts the mix into ice cream by simultaneously aerating, freezing and beating it, to generate the ice crystals, the air bubbles and the matrix. Modern ice cream freezers belong to a class of equipment known to chemical engineers as scraped surface heat exchangers; these are designed to remove heat from (or add heat to) viscous liquids. Ice cream freezers consists of a cylindrical barrel typically 0.2 m in diameter and 1 m long. (However, factory freezers designed for different production rates have barrels with a wide range of sizes) A refrigerant, normally a liquefied volatile gas, such as ammonia or Freon, flows through a jacket (as shown in the figures 4.8 and 4.9)

and cools the outside of the barrel as it evaporates. 
Inside the barrel is a rotating stainless steel dasher driven by an electric motor. The dasher is equipped with scraper blades that fit very closely inside the barrel. The dasher has two functions: to subject the mix to high shear and to scrape off the layer of ice crystals that forms on the very cold barrel wall (hence the term ³scraped surface heat exchanger´).

(The barrel wall is cooled, so that when the mix touches it, ice forms instantly, and is rapidly scraped off by the rotating scraper blades. The small ice crystals are dispersed into the mix, and its temperature drops.)

Figure 1. The modern ice cream freezer 

At the same time that the ice cream is frozen, air is injected, forming large bubbles, which are broken down into many smaller ones by the beating of the dasher (figure 1). The fat droplets and milk proteins adsorb to the surface of the air bubbles and help to stabilize them, in the same way that the milk protein and emulsifiers stabilize the fat droplets. Since the fat droplets are partially crystalline, they form a strong, rigid coating, which prevents collapse of the air bubbles.  As the ice cream passes through the freezer, its temperature drops, and more ice is formed.  At the point of discharge from the freezer, only about 50% of the water in ice cream is frozen (-5oC). The ice cream is too soft (semisolid) for further processing. 

The semisolid ice cream emerging from the freezer goes directly into packaging cartons or drums.

Hardening 
Cartons of semisolid ice cream are placed in a hardening room where a temperature between -30° and -40° C is maintained. It is carried out in a blast freezer operated at temperature of -30° to -40° C with forced air velocities of 10-15 m/s. Most of the remainder of the water is frozen at this stage. Below about -25°C, ice cream is stable for indefinite periods without danger of ice crystal growth.

Structure of Ice Cream Mix and Ice Cream 
Ice cream is both an emulsion and a foam. The milkfat exists in tiny globules that have been formed by the homogenizer. In ice cream mixes there is sufficient protein present to adequately emulsify the mix, so emulsifiers are not needed for fat emulsification in the classic sense. Their (emulsifier) mechanism of action in promoting fat destabilization can be explained as follows: They lower the fat/water interfacial tension in the mix, resulting in protein displacement from the fat globule surface, as shown in the figure, which, in turn, reduces the stability of fat globule allowing partial coalescence (figure) during the whipping and freezing process. 

When the mix is subjected to the whipping action of the barrel freezer, the fat emulsion begins to partially break down and the fat globules begin to flocculate or destabilize. The air bubbles which are being beaten into the mix are stabilized by this partially coalesced fat. If emulsifiers were not added, the fat globules would have so much ability to resist this coalescing, due to the proteins being adsorbed to the fat globule, that the air bubbles would not be properly stabilized and the ice cream would not have the same smooth texture (due to this fat structure) that it has.  Also adding structure to the ice cream is the formation of the ice crystals. Water freezes out of a solution in its pure form as ice. 

In a sugar solution such as ice cream, the initial freezing point of the solution is lower than 0° C due to these dissolved sugars, which is mostly a function of the sugar content of the mix. As ice crystallization begins and water freezes out in its pure form, the concentration of the remaining solution of sugar is increased due to water removal and hence the freezing point is further lowered. This process is shown here, schematically. This process of freeze concentration continues to very low temperatures. Even at the typical ice cream serving temperature of 16° C, only about 72% of the water is frozen. The rest remains as a very concentrated sugar solution.

One gram of ice cream of typical composition contains 1.5 x 1012 fat globules of average diameter 1 µm, 8 x 106 air bubbles of average diameter 70 µm and 8 x 106 ice crystals of average diameter 50 µm.

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