Mr. Scoops' Ice Cream Science

Ice Cream Science: Insight from the owner

As someone with several science degrees, I can tell you that ice cream science is critically important to providing the customer with a smooth, rich and creamy frozen treat. Several terms are important to understand when "grading" ice creams: 

1) Butterfat Content- Butterfat is the key dairy product used in manufacturing all true ice creams. The texture and quality of ice cream generally improves with higher butterfat content. High butterfat ice creams are denser or heavier than low butterfat ice creams. They also tend to be smoother, richer and creamier.
 
2) Air Content- Air is whipped into ice cream during the manufacturing process. Less expensive, low butterfat ice creams tend to have lots of air whipped into them and are not as smooth and creamy as high butterfat/low air content ice creams. They can even have a "grainy" texture. If you are eating low butterfat ice creams that taste like you are eating flavored, grainy air that's pretty much what it is. Putting the right amount of air in ice cream during the manufacturing process is critical to a consistently smooth, rich and creamy product and maximizing the "flavor burst" when you eat it.        

3) Overrun- A measure of how much air is whipped into the ice cream during the manufacturing process. Low over run ice creams (20% or less air) contain more butterfat per unit volume and tend to be smoother, richer and creamier than high over run ice creams. High overrun ice creams (as much as 100% air) tend to taste icy and not very smooth, rich or creamy.
     
4) Premium Ice Cream- Generally has a lower over run, higher butterfat content and higher quality ingredients. 12-15% butterfat.  

5) Super Premium Ice Cream- Generally has very low overrun, very high butterfat content and the highest quality ingredients. 15-18% butterfat.  
 
6) Shake Base- A less expensive, lower butterfat product commonly used by ice cream parlors to save money and make milk shakes by adding flavoring to the shake base when making the shake. Sometimes used to make "homemade ice cream".     

7) Frozen Custard- A cold dessert similar to ice cream but made with eggs in addition to cream and sugar. Frozen custard, when made in a proper continuous freezer will have an overrun of 15–30% depending on the machine manufacturer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires products marketed as frozen custard to contain at least 10% milkfat and 1.4 percent egg yolk solids. 

8) Frozen Yogurt- Frozen yogurt is a frozen dessert made with yogurt and sometimes other dairy products. It is usually more tart than ice cream, as well as being lower in fat (.5 to 6% butterfat). It is different from ice milk and conventional soft serve ice cream.

9) Homemade Ice Cream- Technically, means ice cream is made with ingredients one could find in a home kitchen cabinet or refrigerator. By definition, Haggen Daz makes a Homemade Ice Cream, rich in butterfat (15-17.5%), with very low over run, and made with the only the highest quality ingredients

It is difficult to describe the Scoops experience because we have so many grades and flavors of ice cream and so many dessert choices. We have more than 40 flavors of premium and super premium ice creams and 4 flavors of frozen soft serve yogurt made by the best in the business! You can customize your dessert with one of our 24 wet and dry toppings. Have your scoop on one of our cake, brown sugar, waffle or handmade chocolate dipped waffle cones. Try one of our traditional recipe sundaes, banana splits, and brownie delights or tell your Scoops ice cream specialist how you want your dessert customized. Our milkshakes are the best and are made the old fashioned way with any flavor of premium or super premium ice cream you choose, not with vanilla ice cream and flavored syrup, shake base or soft serve ice milk or yogurt. We also have sherbets and sorbets (low or no dairy product for those who are lactose intolerant) and even have 3 no sugar-added ice creams and sugar free hot fudge and whip cream for those who need low or no sugar added desserts. Cool down on a hot summer day with one of our family recipe, fresh squeezed lemonades. You can also "chill" with one of our smoothies, coffee drinks or freezes. Try one of our tasty and nutritious chocolate dipped, topping coated handmade frozen bananas.                   
Our premium and super premium ice creams range in butterfat content from 12 to 18%, have low to very low overrun and are made with the highest quality ingredients. We feature premium to super premium Dreyers/Edy's ice cream and soft serve yogurts. We also sell Haagen Dazs, Ben & Jerry's, Blue Bunny and Mayfield. Because we buy and sell so much ice cream, most of our product comes directly from the producer and we are equipped to take care of the ice cream like few others. Our -20 degree walk-in freezer ensures our ice cream remains in top quality condition right up to the time we serve you! 

Beware of the term "Homemade ice cream". As mentioned earlier, the definition of homemade means "made with highest quality ingredients one can find in their home refrigerator or pantry". Scoops has researched producing our own homemade ice cream and the price we would have to charge for a top quality product would turn away many customers. A smaller producer like Scoops just can't compete with the economy of scale enjoyed by the best in the business. When someone tells you their ice cream is "homemade", ask them how they make their ice cream and what ingredients they use. Ask them about their ice cream butterfat content and overrun. Do they make their ice cream with low butterfat shake base? Does their ice cream have a plastic like or grainy texture? These can be sure signs they use low quality ingredients and produce low butterfat-high air content ice cream. Be a discriminating shopper and don't be fooled by "flashy" marketing terms!  

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