Ice Cream Quality

33 Body and Texture Defects

1. Coarse/Icy Texture: Due to the presence of ice crystals of such a size that they are noticeable when the ice cream is eaten. See ice cream structure, the freezing aspects of ice cream manufacturingice cream freezing theory, and ice cream shelf life. May be caused by:

  • Insufficient total solids (high water content).
  • Insufficient protein.
  • Insufficient stabilizer or poor stabilizer.
  • Insufficient homogenizing pressure (due to its effect on fat structure formation).
  • Insufficient aging of the mix (stabilizer hydration, also fat crystallization and development of resulting fat structure).
  • Slow freezing because of mechanical condition of freezer.
  • Incorporation of air as large cells because of physical characteristics of mix or type of freezer used.
  • Slow hardening.
  • Fluctuating storage room temperatures.
  • Rehardening soft ice cream.
  • Pumping ice cream too far from continuous freezer before hardening.
  • Fluctuating temperatures during storage and distribution – the most likely cause! See discussion of ice cream shelf life.

2. Crumbly Body: A flaky or snowy characteristic caused by:

  • High overrun together with large air cells.
  • Low stabilizer or emulsifier.
  • Low total solids.
  • Low protein.

3. Fluffy Texture: A spongy/marshmallowy characteristic caused by:

  • Incorporation of large amount of air.
  • Low total solids.
  • Low stabilizer content.

4. Gummy Body: This defect is the opposite of Crumbly in that it imparts a pasty or putty-like body. It is caused by:

  • Too low an overrun.
  • Too much stabilizer.
  • Poor stabilizer.

5. Sandy texture: One of the most objectionable texture defects but easiest to detect. It is caused by Lactose crystals, which do not dissolve readily and produce a rough or gritty sensation in the mouth. This can be distinguished from “iciness” because the lactose crystals do not melt in your mouth. This defect can be prevented by many of the same factors that inhibit iciness:

  • hardening the ice cream quickly
  • maintaining low storage room temps.
  • preventing temperature fluctuations…from manufacturer to consumer

Lactose crystal formation is further discussed in the Dairy Chemistry and Physics section.

6. Weak Body: Ice cream lacks “chewiness” and melts quickly into a watery liquid. Gives impression of lacking richness. May be caused by:

  • Low total solids.
  • High overrun.
  • Insufficient stabilizer.


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