North American Ed. Dec 2020
Asia/Pacific Ed. 2021
North American Ed. Dec 2019
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Q&A's On Ice Cream
Question: What considerations are necessary when formulating “good-for-you” frozen desserts?
Answer: It is only possible here to cover a few general aspects of what needs to be taken in into account when formulating healthy eating ice creams. In many respects, the answers are much the same as if formulating standard ice creams. Responses to many elements of this question can be found in archived Tharp & Young On Ice Cream columns at www.onicecream.com These include formulation of ice cream modified re fat (reduced, low and fat-free) and carbohydrate (lactose-free, no sugar added, sugar-free, low carbohydrate and low glycemic index) and other nutrition related “hot topics”.
Key considerations when formulating “good-for-you” ice cream are what you wish to accomplish and what you want to promote about the finished food. These are determined by balancing marketing and other business-related objectives with regulatory limitations and allowances. That is, when considering a specific “good-for-you” claim it is always good to consider finished weight (pounds per gallon) and compositional limitations amongst other objectives.
Working backward from a target finished weight per serving can help fix levels of certain compositional factors such as total fat, total saturated fat, total sugar(s), total carbohydrates, calories, etc. Further, if nutritionally efficacious ingredients (i.e., “nutraceuticals”) are to be added, their use rates need to be worked into the basic ice cream mix and be compatible with the predominance of scientific peer reviewed literature for that specific nutrient or ingredient and the physical performance needs of the mix.
Nutrient content targets are critical when considering nutrient content claims. They are also critical when health claims (implied, expressed or qualified claims that couple ingestion of a nutrient with a specific disease) or structure/function claims (claims that “help maintain good health”) are desired. Health claims are strictly regulated and many times require one or more nutrient content claims or targets and general dietary restrictions in order to apply the claim.
Structure/function claims are less restrictive but require sound scientific principles and evidence to support the eventual claim. As always, it is advisable to seek the council of an appropriate scientific and regulatory authority when considering product claims of any type.
Other factors also need to be taken into account. Flavors and flavorings can add significant amounts of total fat, sugars, etc. The addition of particulate and variegated inclusions can make or break any nutrient content target and, thus, any claim being sought. Economics becomes important as any given “good-for-you” ice cream may, or may not, meet financial objectives of the business. Direct or indirect claims, such as “natural” or “organic”, can also effect what can or cannot be done.