Ice cream is a dessert made from milk and is served frozen. It is usually combined with other deserts and flavors that is sweetened using sugar or other kinds of sweeteners.
Ice cream as the name suggests is made from cream that is obtained from whole milk. Cream is obtained or derived from milk by use of a centrifugal machine known as a cream separator. A cream separator separates all the fat from whole milk to form skim milk and cream. Cream can be used for various purposes including the manufacture of ice cream.
Once cream has been collected from a cream separator machine it undergoes a number of processes.
First the cream is blended. The ingredients are chosen and incorporated together by use of high speed blenders to come up with an ice cream mix. The mix is then pasteurized to destroy any pathogenic bacteria and kills all the organisms that may spoil the mix
The pasteurized mixture is the homogenized. Here the fat globules in the cream are broken into finer particles. This gives the cream a more smooth texture. This process also helps to increase the surface area for better freezing and slower melting while increasing the palatability of the ice cream. After homogenization, the cream mix is left to sit for more than four hours giving time for fat to cool down and crystalize. Ageing is done in insulated or refrigerated storage tanks and silos with the temperature being kept as low as possible without freezing the mix. An overnight ageing period can give the best results in average plant conditions.
Aged cream can now be whipped and frozen. It’s at this stage that any liquid flavors, fruit purees or colors are added. This mix can now enter a dynamic freezing process. Air is also whipped into the cream to give it its characteristic lightness and spongy look. Without these air bubbles whipped into the ice cream, it would become a solid frozen mass like an ice cube.
The final stage in the making of ice cream is the hardening of ice cream. Hardening involves static freezing of the packaged products in blast freezers. This is done in a rapid manner at a super cold temperature. For proper hardening, the containers should not impede heat; the ice should be put into the freezer at its coldest possible temperature and in sizes with a good surface area to volume ratio to ensure proper heat transfer.
The ice cream is then ready for the consumption and can hit the market.