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The history of ice cream

Man has enjoyed ice cream for centuries. It serves to cool us down in the summer and to pick us up when were down so it is not surprising that today the average Brit eats 7.5 litres of ice cream a year. It is also estimated a staggering 90% of Americans have ice cream in their freezers!!! The early history of this icy victual is unclear. There is evidence that the Chinese combined syrup and snow to make sherbet and that they even had their own official in charge of ice. This knowledge eventually spread to Italy, probably via the Arab traders to be enjoyed by the Romans. The Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar is said to have sent slaves to fetch snow and ice from the mountains to cool and freeze the fruit drinks. He also built cold houses under the imperial palace to store the ice.Although some think that it was the Italian Marco Polo who, centuries later, returned from his famous journey to the Far East with a recipe for making water ices resembling modern day sherbets.These ices, however, are not ice creams. There are reports of the Italians mixing frozen milk with honey in 1560 but the invention of the ice cream as we know today occurred in 1775 in France when it was found that freezing custard gave a delectable dessert. This discovery was soon followed with the first ice cream maker, which was bought by George Washington.

First Ice Cream Parlor In America - Origins Of English Name

The first ice cream parlor in America opened in New York City in 1776. American colonists were the first to use the term "ice cream". The name came from the phrase "iced cream" that was similar to "iced tea". The name was later abbreviated to "ice cream" the name we know today. Around 1926, the first commercially successful continuous process freezer for ice cream was invented by Clarence Vogt. In 1920, Harry Burt invented the Good Humor Ice Cream Bar and patented it in 1923. Burt sold his Good Humor bars from a fleet of white trucks equipped with bells and uniformed drivers

The history of ice cream

Ice Cream ingredients

Ice cream at its simplest is made of milk, sugar, cream, and some flavoring, such as fruit puree or vanilla. An essential ingredient in addition to those is air, without which ice cream would not be the special treat it is. In the U.S., ice cream must contain at least 10% milk fat, and at most 50% air, and must weigh at least 4.5 pounds per gallon. Ice creams termed "premium" and "super premium" have higher fat content (13% to 17%) and lower air content (called "overrun" in the ice cream trade). The milk and cream are sources of butterfat, proteins, and milk sugars. Butterfats add rich flavor, smooth texture, body, and good melting properties. The triglycerides in butterfat melt over a wide range of temperatures, so there is always some bit of solid and some liquid butterfat. Some of the butterfat almost turns into butter while the ice cream is churned, adding to the unique texture of ice cream. The proteins help to incorporate air into the mixture, helping to form small bubbles of air. They modify the texture of the ice cream in other ways as well, making it chewier, and giving it body. The proteins also help to emulsify the fats, keeping the fat globules suspended in the mix. The proteins coat each fat globule, keeping them from sticking together. However, making the globules stick together in chains and mesh-like structures is important in giving ice cream its texture and ability to hold air, and its ability to stay firm as the ice inside melts. Emulsifiers, such as the lecithin in egg yolks, stick their fatty acid ends into the fat globules, and prevent the proteins from completely coating the fat. This balance between proteins and emulsifiers allows the fat globules to chain and stack, without flowing together. The milk sugar lowers the freezing point of the water in the ice cream. Adding extra sweeteners, such as sugar and corn syrup, also have this effect. This ensures that a portion of the water never freezes, keeping the ice cream from becoming a solid chunk of ice. Added sweeteners are inexpensive, and make up about 15% of the mix by weight. The use of highfructose corn syrup will reduce the freezing point further than sugar, resulting in a softer ice cream.

Ice cream additives

Emulsifiers such as the monoglyceride glycerol monostearate and related diglycerides help to keep the milk fat in suspension, and limit the growth of ice crystals. Other emulsifiers such as lecithin and

polysorbate 80 perform similar functions. Emulsifiers have a significant effect on making the fat globules stick together in chains, rather than flowing together in larger globules, or staying separated as tiny ones. This adds to the structure of the ice cream, and affects the texture and the ability to incorporate air into the mixture. Gums such as guar gum, locust bean gum, xanthan gum, carageenan, and methylcellulose help to prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing and re-freezing after a trip from the grocery store. They also have a "mouth feel" similar to milk fat, so the milk fat is not missed as much in low fat ice creams. Like emulsifiers, they also aid in keeping the air whipped into the mix. Gums keep the ice cream from becoming grainy due to crystals forming from either ice or lactose. Some ice creams contain sodium citrate to decrease the tendency of fat globules to coalesce, and to decrease protein aggregation. This results in a "wetter" ice cream. The citrates and phosphates are both used for this effect. Calcium and magnesium salts have the opposite effect, making a "dryer" ice cream.

Ice cream manufacture

The basic steps in the manufacturing of ice cream are generally as follows:

blending of the mix ingredients pasteurization homogenization aging the mix freezing packaging hardening

First the ingredients are selected based on the desired formulation and the calculation of the recipe from the formulation and the ingredients chosen, then the ingredients are weighed and blended together to produce what is known as the "ice cream mix". Blending requires rapid agitation to incorporate powders, and often high speed blenders are used.

The mix is then pasteurized. Pasteurization is the biological control point in the system, designed for the destruction of pathogenic bacteria. In addition to this very important function, pasteurization also reduces the number of spoilage organisms such as psychrotrophs, and helps to hydrate some of the components (proteins, stabilizers). Pasteurization (Ontario regulations): 69 C/30 min. 80 C/25sBoth batch pasteurizers and continuous (HTST) methods are used.Batch pasteurizers lead to more whey protein denaturation, which some people feel gives a better body to the ice cream. 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 69 C (155 F) and held for 30 minutes to satisfy legal requirements for pasteurization, necessary for the destruction of pathogenic bacteria.

Various time temperature combinations can be used. The heat treatment must be severe enough to ensure destruction of pathogens and to reduce the bacterial count to a maximum of 100,000 per gram. Following pasteurization, the mix is homogenized by means of high pressures and then is passed across some type of heat exchanger (plate or double or triple tube) for the purpose of cooling the mix to refrigerated temperatures (4 C). Batch tanks are usually operated in tandem so that one is holding while the other is being prepared. Automatic timers and valves ensure the proper holding time has been met.Continuous pasteurization is usually performed in a high temperature short time (HTST) heat exchanger following blending of ingredients in a large, insulated feed tank. Some preheating, to 30 to 40 C, is necessary for solubilization of the components. The HTST system is equipped with a heating section, a cooling section, and a regeneration section. Cooling sections of ice cream mix HTST presses are usually larger than milk HTST presses. Due to the preheating of the mix, regeneration is lost and mix entering the cooling section is still quite warm.

The mix is also homogenized which forms the fat emulsion by breaking down or reducing the size of the fat globules found in milk or cream to less than 1 m. Two stage homogenization is usually preferred for ice cream mix. Clumping or clustering of the fat is reduced thereby producing a thinner, more rapidly whipped mix. Melt-down is also improved. Homogenization provides the following functions in ice cream manufacture:

Reduces size of fat globules Increases surface area Forms membrane

By helping to form the fat structure, it also has the following indirect effects:

makes a smoother ice cream gives a greater apparent richness and palatability better air stability increases resistance to melting

Homogenization of the mix should take place at the pasteurizing temperature. The high temperature produces more efficient breaking up of the fat globules at any given pressure and also reduces fat clumping and the tendency to thick, heavy bodied mixes. No one pressure can be recommended that will give satisfactory results under all conditions. The higher the fat and total solids in the mix, the lower the pressure should be. If a two stage homogenizer is used, a pressure of 2000 - 2500 psi on the first stage and 500 - 1000 psi on the second stage should be satisfactory under most conditions. Two stage homogenization is usually preferred for ice cream mix. Clumping or clustering of the fat is reduced thereby producing a thinner, more rapidly whipped mix. Melt-down is also improved.

The mix is then aged for at least four hours and usually overnight. This allows time for the fat to cool down and crystallize, and for the proteins and polysaccharides to fully hydrate. Aging provides the following functions:

Improves whipping qualities of mix and body and texture of ice cream providing time for fat crystallization, so the fat can partially coalesce; allowing time for full protein and stabilizer hydration and a resulting slight viscosity increase; allowing time for membrane rearrangement and protein/emulsifier interaction, as emulsifiers displace proteins from the fat globule surface, which allows for a reduction in stabilization of the fat globules and enhanced partial coalescence.

Aging is performed in insulated or refrigerated storage tanks, silos, etc. Mix temperature should be maintained as low as possible without freezing, at or below 5 C. An aging time of overnight is likely to give best results under average plant conditions. A "green" or unaged mix is usually quickly detected at the freezer.

Freezing and Hardening

Following mix processing, the mix is drawn into a flavour tank where any liquid flavours, fruit purees, or colours are added. The mix then enters the dynamic freezing process which both freezes a portion of the water and whips air into the frozen mix. The "barrel" freezer is a scraped-surface, tubular heat exchanger, which is jacketed with a boiling refrigerant such as ammonia or freon. Mix is pumped through this freezer and is drawn off the other end in a matter of 30 seconds, (or 10 to 15 minutes in the case of batch freezers) with about 50% of its water frozen. There are rotating blades inside the barrel that keep the ice scraped off the surface of the freezer and also dashers inside the machine which help to whip the mix and incorporate air. Ice cream contains a considerable quantity of air, up to half of its volume. This gives the product its characteristic lightness. Without air, ice cream would be similar to a frozen ice cube. The air content is termed its overrun, which can be calculated mathematically.As te ice cream is drawn with about half of its water frozen, particulate matter such as fruits, nuts, candy, cookies, or whatever you like, is added to the semi-frozen slurry which has a consistency similar to soft-serve ice cream. In fact, almost the only thing which differentiates hard frozen ice cream from soft-serve, is the fact that soft serve is drawn into cones at this point in the process rather than into packages for subsequent hardening.

After the particulates have been added, the ice cream is packaged and is placed into a blast freezer at -30 to -40 C where most of the remainder of the water is frozen. Below about -25 C, ice cream is stable for indefinite periods without danger of ice crystal growth; however, above this temperature, ice crystal growth is possible and the rate of crystal growth is dependant upon the temperature of storage. This limits the shelf life of the ice cream.A primer on the theoretical aspects of freezing will help you to fully understand the freezing and recrystallization processHardening invloves static (still, quiescent) freezing of the packaged products in blast freezers. Freezing rate must still be rapid, so freezing techniques involve low temperature (-40oC) with either enhanced convection (freezing tunnels with forced air fans) or enhanced

conduction (plate freezers)The rate of heat transfer in a frezing porcess is affected by the temperature difference, the surface area exposed and the heat transfer coefficient (Q=U A dT). Thus, the factors affecting hardening are those affecting this rate of heat transfer:

Temperature of blast freezer - the colder the temperature, the faster the hardening, the smoother the product. Rapid circulation of air - increases convective heat transfer. Temperature of ice cream when placed in the hardening freezer the colder the ice cream at draw, the faster the hardening; - must get through packaging operations fast. Size of container - exposure of maximum surface area to cold air, especially important to consider shrink wrapped bundles - they become a much larger mass to freeze. Bundling should be done after hardening. Composition of ice cream - related to freezing point depression and the temperature required to ensure a significantly high ice phase volume. Method of stacking containers or bundles to allow air circulation. Circulation should not be impeded - there should be no 'dead air' spaces (e.g., round vs. square packages). Care of evaporator - freedom from frost - acts as insulator. Package type, should not impede heat transfer - e.g., styrofoam liner or corrugated cardboard may protect against heat shock after hardening, but reduces heat transfer during freezing so not feasible.

Process flow diagram for ice cream manufacture


Freezing and Hardening

Structure Colloidal aspects of icecream

Ice cream is both an emulsion and a foam. The milkfat exists in tiny globules that have been formed by the homogenizer. There are many proteins that act as emulsifiers and give the fat emulsion its needed stability. The emulsifiers are added to ice cream to actually reduce the stability of this fat emulsion by replacing proteins on the fat surface, leading to a thinner membrane more prone to coalescence during whipping. 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. This fat structure which exists in ice cream is the same type of structure which exists in whipped cream. When you whip a bowl of heavy cream, it soon starts to become stiff and dry appearing and takes on a smooth texture. This results from the formation of this partially coalesced fat structure stabilizing the air bubbles. If it is whipped too far, the fat will begin to churn and butter particles will form. The same thing will happen in ice cream which has been whipped too much. Ice Cream Meltdowm One of the important manifestations of ice cream structure is its meltdown. When you put ice cream in an ambient environment to melt (as in a scoop on a plate), two events occur; the melting of the ice and the collapse of the fat-stabilized foam structure. The melting of the ice is controlled by the outside temperature (fast on a hot day) and the rate of heat transfer (faster on a hot, windy day). However, even after the ice crystals melt, the ice cream does not "melt" (collapse) until the fatstabilized foam structure collapses, and that is a function of the extent of fat destabilization/partial coalescence, which is controlled mostly by the emulsifier concentration

Structure from the Ice crystals

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. Thus when temperature is plotted against % water frozen, you get the phase diagram shown below. This helps to give ice cream its ability to be scooped and chewed at freezer temperatures. The air content also contributes to this ability, as mentioned in discussing overrun.the effect of sweeteners on freezing characteristics of ice cream mixes is demonstrated by the plot shown on the ice cream freezing curve.Also critical to ice cream structure is ice crystal size, and the effect of recrystallization (heat shock, temperature fluctuations) on ice crystal size and texture. A primer on the theoretical aspects of freezing will help you to fully understand the freezing process. Please see the discussion and diagram on ice crystallization rate, as shown on that page, to fully understand this process. Recrystallization (growth) of ice is discussed elsewhere in the context of shelf life. Thus the structure of ice cream can be described as a partly frozen foam with ice crystals and air bubbles occupying a majority of the space. The tiny fat globules, some of them flocculated and surrounding the air bubbles also form a dispersed phase. Proteins and emulsifiers are in turn surrounding the fat globules. The continuous phase consists of a very concentrated, unfrozen solution of sugars. One gram of ice cream of typical composition contains 1.5 x 10exp12 fat globules of average diameter 1 m that have a surface area of greater than 1 square meter (in a gram!), 8 x 10exp6 air bubbles of average diameter 70 m with a surface area of 0.1 sq. m., and 8 x 10exp6 ice crystals of average diameter 50 m with a surface area another 0.1 sq. m.

electron micrographs of ice cream

a = air bubbles, c = ice crystals, f = fat and s = concentrated aqueous solution