Asia/Pacific Ed. 2017
North American Ed. 2017
North American Ed. 2018
Who Should Attend
Q&A's On Ice Cream
Ice Cream as Functional Food:
How can frozen desserts participate in the functional foods trend?
Answer: Ice cream and similar products are inherently good sources of nutrition. They also are good carriers of value-added ingredients including nutrients and nutraceuticals not normally found in frozen desserts. Ice cream can be easily flavored and colored to match virtually any added nutrient and can hold within its structure both particulate and semi-solid inclusions. Fortification can be as simple as adding protein, vitamins, minerals or complex carbohydrate. It can be a bit more complex through the addition of a variety of biologically active "nutraceutical" compounds. In frozen novelty applications, the value-added ingredient could be added topically in the form of a crisp or chip, or with cone novelties, the cone itself can be an effective carrier.
In most cases, the impact of added ingredients on ice cream behavior and properties can be anticipated and managed. For example, the impact on freezing behavior and heat shock stability is directly related to the amount, type and point of addition of ingredient. Background flavors or masking agents can be used to address negative flavor effects. Label statements such as nutrient content claims can be easily engineered into almost any given formula or product. Keep in mind that because many frozen desserts contain air (overrun) and have a relatively small serving size (a half-cup,) the ability to add enough of a given nutrient to achieve any given claim is limited.
From a marketing perspective, there is always the issue of the FDA-required disclosure statement when making health, nutrient content or structure/function claims. Disclosure statements are required when the per reference amount of the food exceeds 13g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 60mg cholesterol or 480mg sodium. Health claims, which relate specific nutrients to migration of specific diseases, are limited and difficult to execute in frozen dairy desserts. Nutrient content claims specifically address the presence, absence or quantity of a specific nutrient. Such claims are realistic in frozen desserts. Structure/function claims relate a specific nutrient to a healthful side benefit. These need to be carefully prepared, supported and designed into the product to adhere to current regulatory requirements.
all these considerations, frozen desserts most readily adaptable to
nutrient fortification and inclusion of nutraceuticals are either low-fat
or nonfat ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, sherbet and water ice. With
care, these frozen dairy desserts can be used successfully to deliver
unique nutritional benefits to consumers beyond the basic nutrition
of current products. It's important to remember, though, that frozen
dairy desserts are positioned as "fun food" and consumers
may have difficulty accepting them as products delivering more than