Just be delicious is not enough. Health is becoming more and more important for people of all ages, so, consumers are looking for ice cream products which are better for their health. Ice cream products should not only be delicious, but also be low fat, low sugar, and have balanced nutrition.
What have the ice cream manufacturers done? A lot of ice cream product lines are now using the new churning technologies, which allow manufacturers to use the same ingredients as in full-fat ice creams while still cutting fat and calories. Some manufacturers have reduced the sugar by adding sugar alcohols. (But keep in mind that sugar alcohols can cause intestinal distress for some people – especially those with irritable bowel syndrome – if they consume too much of them.) Some manufacturers make fiber-fortified ice cream. You might be surprised to learn that some ice cream bars actually have more fiber than a serving of whole-wheat crackers. Inulin, a fructo oligosaccharide (FOS). Trials in dairy products, like ice cream, show that it can successfully replace sugar and fat in ice cream, resulting in a high-quality product. Inulin gives ice cream- even low-fat versions- a creamy mouthfeel. It can also improve heat shock stability. Inulin enables manufacturers to make claims such as “low fat”, “low sugar” or “low in calories”. Additionally, resistant maltodextrin offers similar processing stability while increasing product fiber content. Some manufacturers improve nutrition by increasing protein. For example, milk protein isolates, whey protein concentrates, soy proteins. However, the introduction of large amounts of certain milk proteins may negatively affect flavor. Increased lactose from milk powders will result in a sandy product texture or prevent the ice cream from freezing properly, so we must look for ingredients where the lactose has been removed or reduced. Soy proteins will need additional allergen labeling, and could potentially affect flavor of the finished product.