"On Ice Cream" featured in Dairy Foods magazine
and sourced from "On Ice Cream" technical short courses.
Question: What will happens if ice cream mix is frozen before
it has been properly "aged"?
Answer: The consequences of premature freezing include diminished
air cell strength (with negative implications regarding shrinkage, mouthful,
and shape retention on melting), and structural weakness in the product
at freezer exit and after hardening. Rationale for "aging" lies in the
need to properly condition the fat system so that it will function properly
and consistently during the freezing process. This functionality involves
fat destabilization (i.e., clumping), in which the shear in the freezer
causes the fat globules to agglomerate. The agglomerated fat structures
provide air cell strength and add to the body and mouthful to the product
through the development of a semi-continuous structure. For fat to agglomerate
properly and consistently, crystallization of the fat must be complete.
Soft fat particles will not agglomerate normally. Crystallization requires
removal of heat and occurs during the cold "aging" of mix. Also, the
surface of the fat droplets must be conditioned so that the target degree
of clumping will occur. Generally, about two hours "aging" is sufficient
to reach an equilibrium crystal structure and for fat surface conditioning
to be complete. When saturated monoglyceride emulsifiers are used, up
to four hours may be needed. Polysorbate emulsification achieves surface
equilibrium quickly, sometimes as soon as the mix is cooled.
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