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The definition of ice-cream

Ah yes! We know ice-cream to be a perfectly refreshing desert, it brings wonderful emotions to all- from the youngest ones to the eldest of us. Even some pets know and love ice-cream! However, what is ice-cream, after all?

Ice-cream –usually it is a sweet frozen or partly frozen product, normally made with a mixture of dairy products or milk components and other substances. The freezing process is key for ice-cream and follows it continuously, from its production, throughout the storing period of the product, until the product is consumed.

We can only adjust the level to which the ice-cream thaws according to our taste while eating it – some love it slightly melted or even dripping ice-cream, others enjoy them bit by bit. Thawed ice-cream must not be refrozen, because doing so takes away their physical features as well as the flavour.

Interestingly, certain types of ice-cream can be called different names in different languages, for instance, fruit-based ice desserts in various countries have a different name (e.g. English “ice lolly”). Whereas in Lithuanian language we only have a generic word “ice”, by which we call all types of such frozen desserts.

What is ice-cream made from?

What is ice-cream made from? Various substances and their mixtures are used in producing ice-cream, depending on its type and flavour. It can be milk, or dairy products in various forms: fresh or soured, dry or concentrated or processed otherwise. Other (non-dairy) fats, oils and proteins can also be used in the production of ice-cream. When reading the list of ingredients in ice-cream you will normally find sugar, drinking water and, depending on the flavour, egg or its products, fruits and their products. A variety of other additives are used in production of ice-cream in order to maintain a certain structure of the dessert, its flavour and aromatic qualities. Often ice-cream is made witha range of additions like – waffles, coating, jams, chocolate and other. There might be vegetable fats in such added items, however it does not affect the composition of ice-cream. Therefore, it is important to read the information provided on packaging and pay attention to the ingredients. If the dessert is made with cream, be assured that it is a high quality and delicious product. Thanks to all these ingredients and the making process we can enjoy different types and guises of ice-cream.

Ice-cream classification. What are the types of ice desserts?

Ice-cream can be classified according to different features: shape (ice in waffle cups, ice-cream on sticks or “Eskimo”, fruit or fresh ices etc.) functional properties (richness, predominant ingredients etc.) even size : ice-cream in portions, “family” packs – in large packaging, assortment of ice-creams or multipacks – when a single box or a bag contains several portions of ice-cream (usually such packages suggest an added value for the consumer, e.g. “5 portions+ 1”).

Because some of the earlier mentioned forms of ice-cream classifications are obvious and easily recognisable, we want to familiarise you with how ice-cream is divided according to its functional qualities.

Plombir is considered the richest of ice-creams. They are often considered to be the tastiest, too. There has to be at least 12% of milk fats in plombir (usually 13-15%). It is only made from milk fats; it cannot be made from vegetable fats. In plombir ice-cream there must be no less than 36% of dry substances and no less than 2,2% of milk protein. The energy value in 100g of ice-cream is about 220-240kcal, depending on the components.

Creamy ice-cream – it is slightly leaner than plombir. It has 8-11% of milk fats. This means that the value of 100g of product is about 180kcal. The calorific value of ice-cream also depends on its additional components such as nuts, chocolate, raisins. Milk fats are used in the production of this ice-cream – cream, butter and/or milk, therefore it has a lot of calcium, whole proteins and various vitamins. So, if we moderately consume ice-cream, our body receives plenty of valuable materials.

Dairy ice-cream – the richness of this ice-cream is significantly less than in cream and plombir types. It has no more than 7% of milk fats. There is at least 28% of dry substances and no less than 2,2% of milk proteins.

Fruit Ice Lolly – ices with no fats (of course, unless it is ice-cream with fruit). There should be at least 20% fruits in such desserts, or, if it is made of fruit juice concentrate, it should be no less than 2,5%.

Sorbet and sherbet. It is not the same! Sorbet is a mixed frozen juice which has no fats. In it there must be at least 25% fruits. No milk or its components are used when making sorbet. It is perfect for people with lactose intolerance! Whereas sherbet is made with fruit juice, milk fats and dry dairy materials with no fats. The richness of sherbet is usually 2-4%. Such ice-cream must have no less than 10% of fruits, no less than 20% of dry materials and at least 1% of fats.

Frozen yogurt is made with live yogurt cultures inoculated with ferments. When a required acidity levels are reached, yogurt is whipped and frozen – that is how the ice-cream is made. Frozen yogurt can be also made using an already prepared yogurt.

All other ice-creams that do not belong in either of the categories above is simply called ice-cream.

Dietary ice-cream has a reduced amount of caloric components; they are partly or fully replaced with fat substitutes and artificial sweeteners.

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