Additives and preservatives used in Ice-cream manufacture

 As ice creams move down the scale from premium, getting lower in fat and incorporating more air, ingredients are added to make up for the loss of creamy texture, rich “mouth feel”, and to help keep all of the extra air whipped up.

Emulsifiers such as the monoglyceride glycerol monostearate and related diglycerides help to keep the milk fat in suspension and limit the growth of ice crystals. Other emulsifiers such as lecithin and polysorbate 80 perform similar functions. Emulsifiers have a significant effect on making the fat globules stick together in chains, rather than flowing together in larger globules, or staying separated as tiny ones. This adds to the structure of the ice cream and affects the texture and the ability to incorporate air into the mixture.

Gums such as guar gumlocust bean gumxanthan gumcarrageenan, and methylcellulose help to prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing and re-freezing after a trip from the grocery store. They also have a “mouth feel” similar to milk fat, so the milk fat is not missed as much in low-fat ice creams. Like emulsifiers, they also aid in keeping the air whipped into the mix. Gums keep the ice cream from becoming grainy due to crystals forming from either ice or lactose.

Some ice creams contain sodium citrate to decrease the tendency of fat globules to coalesce, and to decrease protein aggregation. This results in a “wetter” ice cream. The citrates and phosphates are both used for this effect. Calcium and magnesium salts have the opposite effect, making a “dryer” ice cream.

Below is a list of ice cream additives with brief description (negative side focused) :-

The following is a list of common ingredients found in most commercial ice cream products. Prepare to be appalled by the apparent lack of concern for the welfare of the consumers. Prepare to be enraged that the FDA has given approval for these ingredients to be put in our food in the interest of enriching the food processing corporations.

Butyraldehyde is a derivative of butane, used in manufacturing plasticizers, alcohols, solvents and polymers. It has an almond like the smell and is used to make flavours.

Amyl acetate, more often called banana oil, is used as a flavouring agent. It is also a paint and lacquer solvent and is used in the preparation of penicillin.

Diethyl glycol is used in the production of polyester resins and plasticizers, and is a paint solvent. In ice cream, it’s used as a cheap substitute for eggs to thicken the product. Three years ago it was mistakenly used in paracetamol (acetaminophen) syrup and caused the deaths of 25 children in Bangladesh. Five years ago, it was found in discount toothpaste made in China and pulled from store shelves in Miami, Port of Los Angeles & Puerto Rico. Health officials called it a sweet syrupy poison and warned it was toxic to children and people with kidney or liver disease. “Counterfeiters” have found it profitable to substitute diethylene glycol for its chemical cousin glycerin because it is cheaper. The FDA said the substance in ANY amount is not suitable for use in toothpaste. ( I find it interesting that it’s not suitable for use in a product that is spit out, but ok for a food that is intentionally ingested)

Aldehyde C-17 is an inflammable liquid used in dyes, plastics, rubber and as a food flavoring. I did several searches looking for this specific aldehyde but couldn’t find it anywhere, though there is much online regarding aldehydes in general, as well as specific types. For me…something that can be doubled as a food flavouring as well as in the manufacture of plastics and rubber, isn’t something I think I want to eat.

Piperonal is used in place of vanilla as a cheap substitute though, interestingly, it is a natural substance that comes from the vanilla bean. It is listed in the National Library of Medicine HSDB Database as “moderately toxic” and a “human skin irritant”. Another use for it? To kill lice. I can’t wonder at the term “moderately toxic”. Does that mean it will only cause a small amount of cancer? Or only make people a little sick? Or maybe it means we won’t die quickly but at a more “moderate” pace.

Ethyl Acetate is a solvent in coatings and inks and is used for the extraction of fatty materials during food processing. It’s also used to create a pineapple flavour. The vapour is known to cause chronic lung, liver, and heart damage. The MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) claims toxicity if ingested in quantity but warns that formaldehyde toxicity increases with ethyl acetate. That might be an interesting twist in “diet” ice creams that use aspartame, as aspartame is a chemical which transforms into formaldehyde in the body. Or even better…have an ice cream float with diet soda which contains formaldehyde caused by aspartame! Woo Hoo!!! Cancer Sundae!

Monoglycerides, Diglycerides, & Triglycerides – all three substances are composed of fatty acids, and all may contain trans fats when those fatty acids are subjected to high heat processing. The industry only has to report trans fat content from triglycerides (not mono or di) even though trans fats are inevitably formed when mono and di are manufactured. {industry is playing with serving sizes in order to keep trans fats under the ½ gram per “serving” allowance so as not to have to report them. Under ½ equals zero for labeling.}

Disodium phospate – the MSDS is rather useless. Apparently not much is known about the chemical other than it’s slightly hazardous in case of skin and or eye contact, and in case of ingestion and inhalation. Carcinogenic Effects: not available Mutagenic Effects: not available Teratogenic Effects: not available Developmental Toxicity: not available. I guess not knowing is the same as being safe when it comes to food processing.

Benzyl acetate is used in soaps, detergents, incense, oils, lacquers, polishes, printing inks and as a solvent in plastics and resins. It is also used in food flavors. It is known to be carcinogenic in rodents, causing tumors in lungs, liver and gastrointestinal organs, though it’s claimed that there’s only a 0.1% probable chance of such in humans. That’s an interesting claim as there is very little reproductive data or long term studies to determine dangers.Monostearates are considered of low toxicity but toxic nonetheless.

Propylene glycol – The ATSDR lists the skin, kidneys, urinary, and respiratory systems as being affected by the chemical. It’s a synthetic liquid that absorbs water and is used in foods to absorb extra water and maintain moisture. It’s a solvent for food colors and flavors, and in plastics and paint.

This is a link to an addendum put out by the CDC for propylene glycol

Bottom line…it’s toxic.

Sodium benzoate has the ability to deprive cells of oxygen, to break down the immune system and cause cancer. It is actually the sodium salt of benzoic acid and known to be carcinogenic, causing damage at the cellular level through deprivation of oxygen in mitochondria cells, sometimes even shutting them down altogether.

The FDA says it’s ok to use as preservative because of the low amount used, though it can’t be combined with any vitamin C or E which causes benzene to be formed. Benzene causes cancer. So foods containing sodium benzoate should never be mixed with most fruits, condiments, sodas, salad dressings, jellies, mouthwash, toothpaste, cough syrup or thousands of cosmetics and lotions. Basically, it’s virtually impossible to keep consumption of sodium benzoate separate from consumption of vitamin C or E. Parkinson’s, neuro-dengerative diseases, and premature aging have all been attributed to sodium benzoate.

Polysorbate 80 is used in ice cream to resist melting. So while we get to enjoy ice cream that takes longer to become a drippy mess, this chemical is working to suppresses our immune system. It can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock., and causes infertility, abnormal heart rhythm, heat attack, stroke, tumor growth and cancer. {Here’s an interesting side note: scientists are currently working on a vaccine that will intentionally cause fertility problems as a method of birth control. The main ingredient is Polysorbate 80.}

Potassium sorbate is used as a preservative to inhibit the growth of yeast and molds, therefore increases shelf life. Continued ingestion of the substance over time leads to allergic reactions such as nausea, diarrhea, and nutrient loss in food.

Modified corn starch – all modified food starches have been treated with an acid in order to lower their viscosity (thick, not free flowing, semifluid). Long term effects are completely unknown. Generally speaking, modified starches are very hard for the human body to digest. Modified corn starch often contains about 10% maltodextrin, a common keyword used by the industry to hide the presence of MSG. If it’s on the label, you can bet it’s not a natural genetic modification, but rather something done in a laboratory. About 70% of all processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients.

Soy lecithin – The biggest problem with this ingredient is that most of the world’s soybeans have been genetically modified which in itself poses many health hazards to humans and the environment in which we live. When it comes to the process used to manufacture soy lecithin, it is usually confined to unfermented soy sources because it becomes cheaper and quicker to make. Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for both sexes, allergies, ADD and ADHD, a higher risk of heart disease and cancer. There is a question of malnutrition as a result of digestion issues and a loss of libido.

The ice cream you eat might have a different composition. Feel free to look at the wrapper before throwing in the trash.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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