NAICS: 31-1520 Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert Manufacturing
SIC: 2024 Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts
NAICS-Based Product Codes: 31-152001, 31-152002, 31-152003, 31-152004, 12-152005, and 31-15200Y
Ice Cream and Related Products
Strictly speaking ice cream is a frozen dairy product with at least 20 percent of its content consisting of milk solids and 10 percent butterfat. The product is required to weigh at least 4.5 pounds to the gallon. Ice cream is sweetened with sugar. Ice cream may contain egg whites and will contain a stabilizer. This is the product people call regular ice cream. Most ice cream made in the United States is regular, but a wide variety of similar products will be found in grocers' and supermarkets' freezers. The Census Bureau treats these variants as part of the same industry and calls them frozen desserts. The full range consists of ice cream; frozen custard; low fat or non-fat ice cream, sometimes called ice milk or dietary frozen dessert; sherbet; water ice; frozen yogurt; frozen pudding; and mellorine. These products differ from one another by fat content or the source of the fat. Legal definitions vary from state to state but are very similar. Ice cream is further subdivided into packaged forms and novelty products: predominantly ice cream bars, fruit bars, and ice cream sandwiches.
Frozen custard differs from ice cream in that it contains egg yolks. Custards are also cooked products whereas ice cream batter is a pasteurized and homogenized mixture. Frozen puddings contain flour in addition to egg yolks. Custards and puddings have a higher egg content and a more dense structure than ice cream. Low fat ice creams have reduced levels of butterfat; their chief ingredient is skim milk. No-fat ice creams are produced using whey or non-fat dry milk products. So-called lite varieties are aimed at the dieting public; they may be low in fat, have no fat, have reduced amounts of sugar or may be sweetened by artificial sweeteners.
According to the National Yogurt Association, citing the official definition of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), yogurt is milk (or other dairy products) fermented with the benign bacteria Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. The bacteria feed on milk sugars and release lactic acid. The acid causes yogurt's curdled character and creates an environment in which pathogens cannot thrive. Since yogurt can be produced by fermenting whole as well as skim milk, frozen yogurt products come in regular and low-fat varieties. The benefits of yogurt come chiefly from the bacterial cultures that they carry. These aid digestion, promote the immune system, increase calcium content, and have other systemic benefits. Frozen yogurt, however, does not offer dietary benefits as such.
Sherbets are slightly sour frozen fruit ices and come in milk or water-based forms. The word itself, derived from Turkish and Persian roots means drink and originally signified a fruit-drink. Sherbets contain milk solids whereas water ices don't. The term ice sherbet means a water ice and is not a sherbet, strictly speaking.
Mellorine is something of a hybrid product which combines milk-solids and only a minimum of milk fats. The fats in the dessert must be largely derived from animal or vegetable sources such as cottonseed oil or soy. The origins of this variety are obscure, but the product appears to have been introduced in the 1950s. In those days the emergence of mellorine encouraged cotton growers to hope for large new markets for their products. But mellorine never took off and is fading away with less than half of one percent of market share, and that minute share is also declining. The original motive for the formulation of this product was to take cost out of ice cream by substituting cheap sources of fat for more expensive ones.
Ice cream plays such a starring role in the enjoyment of food across the world that it is almost obligatory to romanticize its origins, to see it shrouded in mystery, and to detect its appearance thousands of years ago. Alexander the Great was not the first but a later aficionado of the product. Cliff Lowe, however, writing for inmammaskitchen.com, notes that ancient references to ice cream are really references to mixes of flavored ice. Ancient humans had indeed discovered the pleasure of eating chipped ice juiced up with fruits and honey, but what they ate was a slushy mix rather than a cream. Properly speaking ice cream appears to have originated around the year 1700 in France and Italy. Recipes for ice cream batter first appeared, and then multiplied, in French recipe books around that time. The invention of the current form of ice cream appears to have required the widespread use of metal cookware made of silver and pewter. Such utensils transmit temperature quickly. People made the first batches of real ice cream using two bowls. The larger bowl held ice mixed with salt, the smaller bowl inside the larger bowl held the batter. To make ice cream the cook whipped the batter while simultaneously agitating the ice-salt mixture by moving both bowls up and down rapidly. Salt causes ice to melt. That process consumes heat. A bowl suspended in an ice-salt mixture will be cooled as the salt melts ice and draws the energy for this melting from the batter, causing the batter to freeze. The whipping of the cream introduces air into the mixture. Ice cream was no sooner invented on the Continent than it appeared in the Colonies too. There is documentation to the effect that Jefferson and Washington both served ice cream on special occasions and took interest in ice cream recipes.
Making ice cream was an arduous, lengthy process; it took approximately 40 minutes of awkward whipping and agitation. Its preparation required physical effort. Nancy Johnson, of New Jersey, is credited with inventing the first hand-cranked ice cream machine, likely modeled on a butter churn. The invention dates to 1843. On September 9th of that year Nancy Johnson received Patent No. 3254 for her invention. The first commercial producer of ice cream emerged soon after. He was Jacob Fussell, of Baltimore, Maryland. Fussell was a dairy farmer who discovered that demand for his milk was declining and parlayed this challenge into founding the first ice cream company. It became a national enterprise; eventually he sold it to the Borden Milk Company.
The Manufacturing Process
Industrial production of ice cream may be carried out in batch or continuous modes. The same basic steps are followed either way. These steps are blending of the batter, pasteurizing by heat, homogenizing the blend by pressure, cooling and flavoring the mix, freezing, packaging, and hardening. Milk either arrives already refrigerated or is held at such a temperature in cans awaiting the blending process. Milk is blended with egg whites, sugar, and stabilizers for a brief period of time. Pasteurization takes place at a temperature of 182 degrees Fahrenheit. It is accomplished by contacting the batter with plates washed by very hot water on one side. At the pasteurization temperature all bacteria in the mixture perish.
Raw milk, as it comes from cows, will naturally separate into butterfat and skim milk if left to itself. Homogenization causes fat particles to break apart into tiny particles. The process is accomplished by forcing the milk, still hot from pasteurization, through tiny orifices. Under high pressure the milk and the particles are effectively mixed in the homogenization chamber. The pasteurized and homogenized mixture is then allowed to cool and age. On the way to continuous or batch freezers, feeders add flavoring which mixes and blends in as the batter flows.
The actual creation of ice cream itself begins at this quite advanced stage. The mixture is pumped through freezers maintained at −40 degrees Fahrenheit and rapidly cools. But the cream, at this point, is still a cold semi-liquid paste. Air is introduced into the cooling mixture during freezing. The industry calls air the overrun. The amount of air injected has a direct relationship to the quality of the ice cream. Low overrun produces denser, richer ice cream, but some air entrainment is needed to give ice cream its creaminess. If the recipe calls for the inclusion of bits of fruit, chocolate, nuts, or candied mixtures, the cold paste passes through feeders that insert and mix these ingredients into the flow. The finished product is then dispensed into packaging carried by a moving belt, be these cartons or tubs. As the packages are filled they are automatically closed, and the belt carries the products into a freezing chamber.
The freezing chamber, also called the hardening room, is maintained at a temperature of −30 degrees Fahrenheit. The packaged ice cream must reside in such a space until it has reached at least −10 degrees of temperature. In large applications the freezing chamber is a tunnel through which the packaging moves for two or three hours before being extracted for transport to refrigerated warehouses ahead of retail distribution. On exit from the hardening room or tunnel, the ice cream is rock hard.
Variations on this process, following the initial freezing step, produce ice cream bars, sandwiches, and other novelty products by the deployment of specialized equipment that doles out the semi-liquid ice cream, inserts wooden or plastic handles for a bar, or sandwiches the ice cream between baked sheets before sealing them in individual sacks.
The ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturing industry shipped product valued at $9.01 billion in 2005, up from $8.2 billion in 2002. The market was $5.9 billion in 1997 and $5.2 billion in 1992. The growth rates in this period varied a great deal having been 2.1 percent per year on a compounded basis between 1992 and 1997, 7 percent per year in the period from 1997 to 2002, and slowing again to an annual rate of 3.2 percent per annum between 2002 and 2005.
In the 14-year period from 1992 to 2005, industry shipments showed negative growth in four years (1994, 1997, 1999, and 2003) and wildly different growth in ten others. Between 1997 and 1998 the industry grew 1.6 percent, for instance. Between 2002 and 2003 it grew at a heady 21.6 percent. Unless these data are the consequence of survey anomalies, one is tempted to suppose that ice cream reflects changing public moods. For instance, the period from 1992 to 1999 exhibited rather energetic growth in the economy (it was the so-called dot-com boom). During that time ice cream turned in a rather sluggish performance, growing at a compounded rate of only 0.4 percent per year. The 1999 to 2005 period, by contrast, was more troubled and somber. The economy began to show a softening in 2000 and gross domestic product turned negative in early 2001. That same year brought the 9/11 shock, military activities overseas, and in 2002 the beginning of a jobless economic recovery. Yet during this period, ice cream sales advanced at a very brisk rate of 8.6 percent per year.
Four factors influence demand for ice cream: weather, pursuit of health, flavor, and impulse-buying. Hot weather favors ice cream consumption. The desire to eat in a healthy manner either dampens ice cream buying or favors the low-fat or no-fat brands. Novel flavors can lift demand and, in effect, make small companies into dominant forces. Impulse buying is observed as a common behavior—so that a careful ice cream buyer will occasionally throw all inhibitions to the wind. Over the long run the industry is steadily growing.
One of the motives behind food selection decisions—to eat healthier foods—does find measurable support in the data available between 1997 and 2002. In that period regular ice cream lost a share of the market declining from 60.9 to 56.9 percent of total shipments. Yogurt and mellorine lost share as well. Sherbets, water ices, and low fat ice cream gained in share, 1.8, 1.3, and 0.1 percent respectively. But frozen novelties exhibited the largest growth, a 3.2 percent gain in share, suggesting that impulse buying on the one hand balanced healthy-eating tendencies on the other.
Based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which independently monitors this industry from the dairy perspective, ice cream production in 2004 was 1.5 billion gallons, representing approximately 8 percent of total U.S. milk production. The value of this production, excluding water ices (on which USDA does not report) was approximately $4.50 per gallon at the point of shipment. For the same year, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) estimates that total sales of ice cream and frozen desserts at retail were $21.4 billion, suggesting a nearly three-fold increase in value from the point of production to the point of sale. The products of the industry sold, on average (including water ices), for $13.30 per gallon.
The retail market is of necessity an estimate because retail sales of ice cream and related products are combined by the Census Bureau with the sales of other commodities in reporting on such categories of distribution as wholesalers, grocers, and restaurants; the last category includes ice cream shops along with fast-food enterprises and luxury restaurants. Bulk sales of ice cream reach ice cream shops and restaurants; such shipments are a relatively small proportion of total production (approximately 19%) but command high prices, anywhere from $35 to $150 per gallon. Expressed on a per-gallon basis, ice cream novelties will typically cost between $13 and $40 per gallon. Ice cream in 16 ounce containers will retail for around $30 on a per-gallon basis; in 56 ounce containers ice cream sells for $10 to $13 per gallon. The most popular size, the half-gallon container, sells for $6 to $9 per gallon. Popular, big-name brands have the highest prices, while store-brands come in at the lowest end of the price scale.
The IDFA, citing The NDP Group's National Eating Trends Services, reports that vanilla leads the flavor parade; 20 percent of consumers opt for the flavor. Next in line is chocolate with a 12.9 percent share, neapolitan with 4.8, strawberry with 4.3, and cookies-and-cream with 4 percent of the market. Baskin-Robbins' famed 31 flavors, or at least 26 of them, have to compete for the remaining 68 percent—as well as with the flavors offered by more than 360 producers in the United States.
Based on the 2002 Economic Census, 365 companies participated in the industry in 2002, operating 407 establishments. The total number of corporate participants was down from 410 in 1997; establishment counts were down from 451. Just under one-third of establishments in 2002 (31%) were of some size, employing twenty or more people. These data indicate an industry of many small independent operations serving local or regional markets. Many are family owned, many are local dairies. Just a handful of companies have a commanding national or international market. Most of these latter have been assembled under the fold of two major food companies: Unilever N.V. and Nestlé S.A. Yet others with national name recognition are also owned by food companies. An example is Baskin-Robbins owned by Dunkin' Brands (of Dunkin' Donuts fame) which is itself owned by several investment companies (Bain Capital, Thomas Lee Partners, and the Carlysle Group). Another is Healthy Choice, owned by ConAgra.
Based on data assembled by Market Share Reporter, in 2005 Nestlé was the leading company in the United States with 23 percent of the market, followed by Unilever with 22 percent, and in 2002 Unilever was the top producer worldwide (16.3%) followed by Nestlé (11%). In 2007 both of these companies maintained their dominance, controlling half the market in the United States and more than one-third of the market globally. Nestlé owns Dreyer's and Häagen-Dazs, the second and third-ranked brands in the United States in 2006 according to Dairy Field. Dreyer's is known as Edy's in markets west of the Rocky Mountains and the brand is usually referred to as Dreyer's/Edy's. Nestlé is a leading brand in ice cream novelties in its own right, and novelties are the most rapidly growing category in ice cream.
Unilever owns Breyers, the top brand in the United States in 2006, acquired in 1993. That same year Unilever also acquired the Sealtest line and merged these into its wholly-owned Good Humor-Breyer's Ice Cream Company. Good Humor had also been an independent company and was the originator of the first-ever ice cream bar. Unilever acquired Good Humor in 1961. By the time of Breyer's acquisition, Unilever had also purchased Gold Bond Ice Cream in 1989. The company acquired Ben & Jerry's in 2000, but has been operating that acquisition as a separate company rather than as part of the Good Humor-Breyer's combination. Ben & Jerry's was the fifth-ranking U.S. brand in 2006. Like Nestlé, Unilever represents a family of ice cream brands but, unlike Nestlé, has no ice cream called by its own name.
Ice cream making is a relatively low-cost-of-entry type of business and continues to attract entrepreneurs who hope to make their mark by some unique differentiation. Two of the leading brands of the early twenty-first century began in the second half of the twentieth century. Häagen-Dazs being a new brand arising from a family already in the ice cream business since the 1920s and Ben & Jerry's, a start-up company.
The inventor of Häagen-Dazs, Reuben Mattus, a New Yorker, introduced a new high-quality brand of ice cream with just three flavors (vanilla, chocolate, and coffee) in 1961. The brand took off. It had two important features to promote it. It aimed at a market largely neglected then, a luxury market for richly textured, dense ice cream; it also had an eye-catching name that Mattus invented, giving it an umlaut, to suggest old-world quality and craftsmanship. The market was ready for such a product. The brand's reputation spread across the East Coast. In 1976 Doris Mattus, Mattus' daughter, formed the first Häagen-Dazs ice cream shop. The franchise soon became national and, after Mattus sold the business to Pillsbury, became a world-wide brand. General Mills, later the owner of Pillsbury, sold the Häagen-Dazs line to Nestlé.
Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, childhood friends, began Ben & Jerry's in 1977 in Burlington, Vermont. They were in their twenties at the time, wanted to enter the food business, and chose the ice cream business because it cost less to enter than bagel-making. They learned to make ice cream in a correspondence course—but their achievement was clearly not learned from books but flowered from talent and flair. They built their franchise by combining a great instinct for novel flavors, showmanship, and community involvement. They were members of the baby boom and well in tune with it. Within ten years they had built a $32 million business—which was just a beginning.
Equally representative of key producers and leaders in this industry are Blue Bell Creameries, Wells' Dairy, Inc., and Turkey Hill Dairy. In rankings of U.S. ice cream brands these three companies held fourth, sixth, and seventh rank in 2006. All three are family-owned. Blue Bell, based in Brenham, Texas, celebrated its 100th birthday in 2007. Blue Bell has been operated by the Kruse family since 1919. The Wells' Dairy's brand is the Blue Bunny. Introduced in 1935, it comes in nearly 500 flavors. The company is based in Le Mars, Iowa, a town that styles itself the Ice Cream Capital of the World, claiming to be the community with the largest ice cream production within its borders. The company has been continuously owned by the Wells family since 1913. Turkey Hill was originally a farm owned by Armour Frey in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It was transformed into a dairy in 1947 when Frey's sons bought out the business. Turkey Hill began manufacturing ice cream in 1980.
MATERIALS & SUPPLY CHAIN LOGISTICS
The ice cream industry's chief raw material is fresh milk, a commodity consumed by the population and reaching its market in refrigerated tanker trucks everywhere. At the same time, the finished product, just like its main input, requires refrigerated transportation to the point of sale. The product, therefore, is significantly dependent on technically advanced transportation systems in any case. For this reason ice cream is produced both at significant distances from population centers but near dairies, and in the center of urban areas relying on milk reaching it from the countryside.
Ice cream reaches the final consumer by two very distinct channels, one being the grocery store or supermarket serving those intending to eat the product at home, and the ice cream shop or restaurant where product is purchased for immediate consumption. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, as measured in dollar expenditures, expenditures away from home represent two-thirds of all ice cream purchases, one-third reaching the consumer in packages.
On a volume or gallonage basis, the divide appears to be the other way around, most ice cream being packaged and purchased for at-home consumption. This indicates that portion-bought ice cream is the most expensive. If the ice cream is made directly at the site where it is sold in cones and cups, a one-tier distribution is practiced (producer to consumer). Most ice cream reaches the consumer by means of a three-tier distribution in which producers sell to a frozen foods wholesale merchant, the merchant supplies the retailer, and the retailer sells to the ultimate user.
Ice cream is eaten by many, often as a dessert or as a refreshment on a hot day. The product line includes varieties even for those who, being lactose-intolerant, can only enjoy water ices, but that product is firmly part of the ice cream universe as a whole.
Most adjacent to ice cream—indeed almost indistinguishable from the category when consumed in an ice cream shop—is the ice cream cone itself. Cones and waffles are bakery products. In the history of ice cream, the origin of the cone is typically said to be at the World Fair of 1904. According to Cliff Lowe's well-researched history, an ice cream vendor named Charles Menches found himself booth-to-booth to a waffle vendor named Ernest Hawmi. When Menches ran out clean ceramic cups he found a solution by getting waffles from his neighbor. Hawmi formed cone-shaped waffles on the spot to satisfy this sudden demand. Lowe, however, points out that a New York-based Italian named Marchiony sold ice cream in waffle cups in the late 1800s and early 1900s and, indeed, obtained a patent for such cups in 1903.
Adjacent markets to ice cream are also other forms of dessert, most closely adjacent being refrigerated creams, puddings, and whipped toppings. A market for home ice cream making machinery is another adjacent market. Such equipment may be hand-cranked or electrically operated, may be designed to be used with ice and salt or to be placed in the refrigerator's freezing compartment. High-end ice cream makers cooled by liquid gases are also available.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Most efforts of this nature in the field of ice cream are centered on product development, strongly focused on impulse products in the novelty category. Efforts are also expended on producing ice creams and frozen desserts that have low fat and low sugar content yet produce the taste sensations associated with high-end luxury, regular ice creams.
The dominant trends in this industry are toward richer and better-tasting products on the one hand and healthier frozen desserts on the other. These trends are somewhat in conflict. If the recent decades of ice cream history are representative of the future, major success will reward those who bet on richer and more delicious products, as exemplified by the triumphs in market-penetration achieved by Häagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry's.
In the food industry as a whole, snack foods are under intense development because evolving life styles are marginalizing food consumption at regularly scheduled family meals. The search for new snack foods is reflected in the ice cream industry in the rapid growth of ice cream novelties. Currently available market data also suggest that healthy ice cream will, at the very least, establish a major segment for itself and, aided by innovation, will hold its own.
TARGET MARKETS & SEGMENTATION
The three major markets are regular ice cream, novelties, and healthy formulations—targeted at the general buyer who is interested in taste alone and feels little guilt for indulgence, at the impulse buyer looking for five minutes of pleasure, and at those minding their dietary budgets. Within the health-minded segment, non-fat and low- or no-sugar products represent one extreme. Within regular ice cream, high-end luxury brands represent the other. The same divide is present in novelties which come in regular, sherbet, and low-fat varieties. There is, thus, a high, a middle, and a low end, each with its clientele.
RELATED ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS
International Association of Ice Cream Vendors, http://www.iaicv.org/indlinks.htm
International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), http://www.idfa.org/about/index.cfm
National Ice Cream Retailers Association, http://www.nicyra.org
National Yogurt Association, http://www.aboutyogurt.com/lacYogurt/facts.asp
"Ben Cohen—Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream." Ben & Jerry's. Available from 〈http://www.benjerry.com/our_company/about_us/our_history/benbio.cfm〉.
"A Brief History of Ice Cream." Zinger's Homemade Ice Cream. April 2006. Available from 〈http://www.zingersicecream.com/history.htm〉.
Dairy Products 2002 Summary. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 2003.
Darnay, Arsen J. and Joyce P. Simkin. Manufacturing & Distribution USA, 4th ed. Thomson Gale, 2006, Volume 1, 927-929.
"Ice Cream Manufacture." University of Ghuelph. Available from 〈http://www.energiemanagertraining.com/dairy/pdf/Ice_Cream03.pdf〉.
"Just the Facts: Ice Cream Sales and Trends." International Dairy Foods Association. Available from 〈http://www.idfa.org/facts/icmonth/page2.cfm〉.
Lazich, Robert S. Market Share Reporter 2006. Thomson Gale, 2006, Volume 1, 80-81.
Lowe, Cliff. "The History of Ice Cream, How to Make Ice Cream at Home: Ice Cream Makers Past & Present." inmammaskitchen.com. Available from 〈http://www.inmamaskitchen.com/FOOD_IS_ART_II/food_history_and_facts/ice_cream.html〉.
Petrak, Lynn. "The Cold Truth: Although Sales Dip Slightly, Diverse Products Keep Rolling Out to a Splintered Marketplace." Dairy Field. January 2007.
――――――. "Freezing Points: Better-for-you and Decadent Ice Cream Products Continue on Parallel Growth Tracks as the Category Churns Ahead." Dairy Field. January 2006.
Scott, Mark and Cassidy Flanagan. "Ice Cream Wars: Nestlé vs. Unilever." BusinessWeek. 24 August 2007. Available from 〈http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/aug2007/gb20070824_230078.htm〉.
Smith, Pamela Accetta. "What's in a Name?" Dairy Field. February 2007. Available from 〈http://www.dairyfield.com/content.php?s=DF/2007/02&p=15〉.
Wilson, Steve. "Doc Wilson's Ice Cream Page." Doc Wilson's Ice Cream Site. Available from 〈http://www.users.nwark.com/∼piperw/icpage.htm.〉.
ICE CREAM. Ice cream, or iced cream as it was originally called, was once narrowly defined as a luxury dessert made of cream, sugar, and sometimes fruit congealed over ice. The techniques for making water ices and sorbets probably led to experimentation with cream and milk in Italy during the Renaissance although no recipes survive. On the other hand, there is clear literary evidence that this experimentation underwent considerable refinement in France during the seventeenth century, and that it was the French court of Louis XIV that first served ice creams at banquets. The use of snow and ice to cool wines was known to the Romans, and sorbets were well known to the Persians and Byzantine Greeks. It does not take a large leap in technology to go from sorbets to frozen creams, yet it was the use of sweet cream from cow's milk that originally made true ice cream possible. In fact, it is the rich milk from certain breeds of cattle that further defines the texture and flavor of this product.
The original technique for making ice cream was relatively simple, although it was predicated on a good supply of ice or well-packed snow. A large pewter basin was filled with coarsely broken ice, over which the confectioner scattered salt. Salt lowers the melting temperature of the ice and thus induces evaporation. Another smaller pewter basin was set into the salted ice. This basin contained the cream, sugar (usually in the form of syrup), and flavoring—lemon being by far the most popular ice cream flavor until the 1850s. The small basin was then turned by hand and the cream mixture stirred gently until it congealed due to the cooling action of evaporation. Otherwise, it was still-frozen, then beaten once firm. This method is found in numerous recipes surviving from the latter half of the sixteenth century, as well as in quite a few eighteenth-century printed cookbooks, including the Receipts of Mary Eales and Hannah Glasse's Compleat Confectioner.
The cookbook of Mary Eales, which appeared in 1718, is considered the first to feature an ice cream recipe printed in English, and it varies in technique from the basin method just described. Eales placed her cream in pails in an ice chest and still-froze them, a method developed by professional French confectioners and similar in shape to the crank-turned freezers of the nineteenth century. The appearance of ice cream in domestic cookbooks of the period may be taken as evidence that ice cream had moved from strictly palace fare of earlier times to the tables of the literate well-to-do. This is confirmed in America by a 1744 reference to ice cream on the dessert table of Governor Blandon of Maryland—a thing to be marveled at and noted diligently in a dinner guest's diary. The governor's ice cream was served with fresh strawberries, a foreshadowing of the ubiquitous strawberry and ice cream festivals that today have become such an integral part of the American cultural scene. As for Governor Blandon, it goes without saying that many wealthy colonial Americans owned icehouses, which made such luxuries possible.
Implicit in the operation of making ice cream was the use of metal that transfers the cold temperature of the ice as quickly as possible to the cream. Pewter was the preferred metal of most ice cream makers down to the end of the nineteenth century, when it was replaced by other alloys. The reasons for replacing pewter were several: it pitted easily and it was soft. Complex molds made of pewter would eventually warp or bend, especially around the area of the hinges, which would lead to leaks and imperfectly shaped molded ices. Most important, pewter reacted chemically with acids in ice creams, thus forming toxic lead salts. This realization did not occur to confectioners until the chemistry of food became better understood; thus, it is highly probable that toxins in ice cream contributed to some of the maladies suffered by consumers in the past. This was certainly the case prior to pasteurization because freezing cream or milk does not kill microbes or prevent enzyme breakdown. However, none of these modern concerns affected the historical popularity of ice cream in Europe or America. It would probably be more accurate to say that ice cream became such a rage that its negative effects on the body were rarely mentioned even in medical literature. The loudest critics of ice cream bemoaned the costliness, for ice cream was indeed an expensive indulgence until the invention of the commercial ice cream maker in the late 1840s.
If French confectioners brought ice cream to the attention of the world by serving it at the French court, these same confectioners also codified the art of making ice cream so that, by the middle of the eighteenth century, numerous books could be consulted on ice cream making from A to Z. While the basin method was generally a technique employed in household confectionery, professionals made ice creams in ice chests and experimented with various substances to enhance freezing, including alum and saltpeter. The French also coined the term fromage glacé for true iced cream and introduced such unusual flavorings as cinnamon, chocolate, bergamot, and orange flower petals. The French in addition developed the concept of serving ice cream in tiny glasses, normally arranged on glass salvers. These standing displays, sometimes stacked very high, are depicted in quite a few confectionery books and necessitated the invention of tiny pointed spoons for eating the creams.
As ice creams became more fashionable, the formulas for making them also became more and more complex. This was especially true for ice creams that were molded because they required a firmer body than the old hand-whipped sorts. Cutting cream with milk and the addition of eggs, all of which was gently cooked until thick, became one of the signature methods used by French confectioners. Modern American ice cream producers generally call such cooked egg-thickened ice creams "French," as in French vanilla ice cream, although in the nineteenth century Sarah Rorer in Philadelphia and Agnes Marshall in London categorized them emphatically as Neapolitan. In fact, cooking the milk or cream was practiced by more than just French confectioners, and in America at least it was associated primarily with Italians. Neapolitan ice cream was also a specific flavor combination: three distinct layers, one green (pistachio), one white (vanilla), and one orange (orange flavor) in imitation when sliced of the Italian national flag.
The Popularity of Ice Cream
The French Revolution did much to spread the popularity of ice cream, especially in England and America, where refugee confectioners set up business. Some of the most active French confectioners settled in New York and Philadelphia, and their advertisements for ice creams are common in American newspapers from the 1790s into the 1820s. It was also during this period that ice cream gardens developed. They featured a confectionery shop where a variety of sweet foods were prepared, where wines and lemonades were served, and even elaborately planted flower gardens and, on occasion, musical entertainment. Since the best cream was seasonal—May and June being the optimal months—the ice cream gardens also offered cooked food to such an extent that many of them resembled outdoor restaurants. The cookery, however, was light, and for the most part appealed to women and children, since they could not enter oyster houses or taverns unless accompanied by a male. Ice cream gardens became safe havens where even teenage girls could socialize (or flirt) with budding admirers. Furthermore, ice cream gardens were off-limits to African Americans; thus in cities like Philadelphia, a number of black cooks established their own counterparts. Once commercial ice cream became less expensive, the ice cream garden was replicated by churches as a fundraising event under the name of an ice cream social.
The most famous ice cream in nineteenth-century America came from Philadelphia owing to the proximity of fine dairies, rich pasturage on which to feed the cows, and no small amount of local ingenuity. While several French confectioners established a penchant for rich ice creams during the 1790s, especially the demand for finely molded fromages glacés at supper parties and balls, it was the Parkinson family who put Philadelphia ice cream on the map.
George Parkinson and his wife Eleanor created a confectionery business that made Philadelphia vanilla ice cream a synonym for the city's haute cuisine. Their son James opened a restaurant in the early 1840s with an ice cream garden in the back—situated in the center of an elaborately pruned collection of roses. Parkinson's sales bills, advertisements, and surviving menus offer a rich selection of ice creams and ice cream sculptures. When Swedish singer Jenny Lind visited Philadelphia in 1850, Parkinson sent to her hotel room an ice cream harp complete with an ice cream nightingale perched on top (the singer was nicknamed the "Swedish Nightingale," hence the allusion). The ice cream was served on a huge silver platter together with a Bohemian glass ice cream service, molded jellies, and "iris-colored" cakes. Parkinson's showmanship did not go unrewarded. The story of the ice cream and Lind's response made national headlines. Parkinson's ice cream flamboyances and another important local development in the history of ice cream probably worked together to establish this food as a national dish. Ice cream is certainly viewed today as an American food, but its transformation would never have happened without Eber C. Seaman.
The Impact of the Crank-Turned Ice Cream Machine
Seaman was a New Jersey Quaker who invented a crank-turned ice cream machine, which he patented in 1848. His invention was first tested in the ice cream saloon of Mrs. E. A. Harbach, a Philadelphia confectioner also famous for her candies. Until the invention of Seaman's device, ice cream had to be made in small batches by hand. Seaman's crank-turned machine allowed one person to turn out many large batches of ice cream in a matter of hours. This brought down the unit cost of ice cream so that, within a short period of time, it became little more than a street commodity. Seaman's invention is what allowed the American love affair with ice cream to blossom. His large commercial machine was soon miniaturized so that anyone with a supply of ice could make their own ice cream by the quart or gallon. Thus, the hand-turned ice cream machine became a common household utensil by the 1880s, and numerous pamphlet-sized cookbooks were sold to go with them, all including detailed directions for ice cream recipes. One of the most popular brands of ice cream machine was the White Mountain, which gained many testimonials from leading cooks of the day.
Sarah Tyson Rorer of Philadelphia was a champion of such ice cream pamphleteering, primarily in her role of product endorsement. Rorer's New England counterpart was Mary J. Lincoln of the Boston Cooking School, whose magazines are today a gold mine of period ice cream recipes and illustrations, especially of the odd ways in which the creams were styled for presentation. One wonders whether her ice cream in the shape of a beef tongue realistically colored would have appealed to all sensibilities. On the other side of the Atlantic, Agnes B. Marshall of London not only offered her own patented ice cream freezer, a rich selection of elaborate ice cream molds, but also Marshall's patent ice cave for transporting ice creams to picnics, and two technical books on the subject: The Book of Ices (1894) and Fancy Ices (1922). Her domination of the late Victorian world of ice cream outshines the likes of either Rorer or Lincoln, and her cookery books are now considered classics of their genre. While Marshall is now part of history, her popularization of iced soufflés and especially of iced puddings has been long-lasting, especially in British cookery.
The future of ice cream, however, was not prophesized in the books of Marshall, but by Rorer. She broke down ice creams into these pragmatic categories: Philadelphia ice cream (using cream only), Neapolitan ice creams (frozen custards employing eggs), and ice creams from condensed milk or a product called evaporated cream. She also included in her 1913 cookbook a recipe for an "Alaska Bake" that was ice cream baked under a thick coating of meringue. In the last two examples, she was somewhat forward-looking in that baked Alaska became popular by the 1920s, and the shift away from natural ingredients to all sorts of artificial additives was already beginning to overtake commercial ice cream production in the early 1900s.
The first step in this evolution was the introduction of condensed milk by Gail Borden in 1856. Commercial thickeners appeared during the 1870s in the form of powders, such as powdered egg yolks, then various gelatin products, both animal-and plant-based. Finally, in 1899 the French introduced homogenizers that largely served as cream substitutes. This led to ice cream powders.
Espoused Health Benefits
Home ice cream making was always fraught with uncertainties, especially the achievement of good texture. Ice cream powder was introduced as a fail-safe remedy with health benefits thrown in for good measure. As one 1908 Jell-O cookbook claimed, "the healthfulness of good ice cream is beyond question. In many cases of illness the patients crave ice cream, and doctors and nurses tell us that it is usually good for them." This reasoning harks back to the Italian sorbets of the eighteenth century, which were often administered to patients suffering from high temperature. But those ices were primarily water and sweetened fruit juice, which the body metabolizes differently from dairy-based products.
The health slant was doubtless an attempt to adjust to the Pure Foods Act of 1906 because this same point is echoed across the board in most confectionery advertising of the period. After the United States acquired Cuba, the per capita consumption of sugar soared. Sugar began to permeate all aspects of the American diet, and this trend has not stopped. Yet, as an antidote to demon rum, the fountains of sugar at the ice cream parlor ("parlor" denotes respectability) or local drugstore became the morally correct culinary altar for Methodists, Baptists, and other dry denominations. It was in that blue law milieu that the ice cream sundae was born at Two Rivers, Michigan, in 1881. The sundae transformed plain ice cream into a rapture of chocolate syrup, chopped nuts, and candy tidbits known as nonpareils.
Ice Cream as a Part of Street Culture
Meanwhile, in cities where large communities of Italians settled, the hokey-pokey man became a fixture of popular street culture. He was an ice cream vendor and moving sandwich stand par excellence, with a small pushcart and a variety of Neapolitan flavors—Naples being the presumed origin of all the ice creamers in that line of work. The hokey-pokey man sold ice creams in paper cups and in paper cones so that customers could walk and eat at the same time. They also sold ice cream called penny licks. These were little glasses that contained a penny's worth of ice cream, a marketing gimmick aimed primarily at children. When the ice cream was eaten, the glass was given back to the vendor, who then washed it and refilled it for the next customer. The hokey-pokey man gave rise to a flavor of ice cream in cities like New York and London. In Philadelphia, his name attached itself to a hokey sandwich made with an antipasto salad of cold meats and lettuce now known as the hoagie.
The Ice-Cream Cone
The inventor of the ice-cream cone is not known, although claims abound. There is ample evidence that the concept existed in several forms long before the debut of the cone at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. The benefit of the cone was that the ice cream container could be eaten, yet if one is to accept the research of Brian Butko (2001), there was considerable resistance to the idea when it first attracted public attention. Hygiene was one reason, sticky fingers another. The public perception of ice cream was that it should be clean, like milk itself, a food that was both basic and culturally defining. The ice cream parlor and the drugstore soda fountain probably did more to help the ice cream cone gain acceptability in the long run, but it was the carefully wrapped ice cream snacks of the 1920s that eventually captured the market.
That ice cream should assume its hallowed place beside the drug counter during Prohibition may seem at first glance the most remarkable of fates, but it was the original idea that ice cream was both safe and healthy that allowed it to invade the domain of the local apothecary. Temperance instilled Americans with a love of drugs as a substitute for luxury: patent medicines were mostly alcohol, and the tempering qualities of ice cream were not known to cause a Fourth of July picnic to degenerate into debauchery. Perhaps this is one reason why American ice cream evolved into yet another branch of frozen snacks during the 1920s. Perhaps it was also due to a shift in lifestyles and altruistic spin-offs geared toward Hollywood and a need to provide movie theaters with frozen finger foods. Whatever the reason, one of the most important additions to the ice cream story arrived in the form of ice cream "novelties," to use a term then current.
Ice Cream Novelties
This included such portable snack foods as the ice-cream sandwich, the popsicle, and the Klondike, which is today the most popular of all ice cream products of this type. Most of these foods were born about the same time. Eskimo Pies were first marketed in 1921. Good Humor's ice cream "suckers" initially appeared in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1922. And in response to the success of Eskimo Pies, Isaly's of Pittsburgh created the Klondike, its polar bear logo curiously similar to the polar bear used by Marshall in her famous book of ices. Isaly's went on to become a household name in the Midwest, and their popular skyscraper cones left no doubt that even ice cream could assume phallic meanings.
Ice Cream in the Twenty-First Century
Ice cream has now come full circle. Most of it is extremely cheap and for this reason it has lost its sexiness. Low-fat dieticians have decried it as the frozen grease that clogs our veins. Ice cream has become for many the moral opposite of granola or a raw carrot. However, people gorge on ice cream that they feel is safer, which has not only lost its cream, but instead is made entirely of nondairy products, euphemisms for ingredients that never passed through a cow. It might be far more healthful to eat real ice cream in moderation and enjoy a long walk afterwards. This seems to be the rallying cry of the Slow Food Movement and other present-day culinary groups dedicated to revitalizing ice cream, and to restoring its flavor and cultural significance.
See also Additives; Dairy Products; Icon Foods; Sherbet and Sorbet; Slow Food; Snacks.
Butko, Brian. Klondikes, Chipped Ham, and Skyscraper Cones. Mechanicsburg, Penn.: Stackpole, 2001.
Ciocca, Giuseppe. Gelati. Dolci freddi, rinfreschi, bebite refriger-anti. Milan: 1926.
Cox, J. Stevens. Ice-Creams of Queen Victoria's Reign. St. Peter Port (Guernsey): Toucan Press, 1970.
Eales, Mary. Mrs. Eales' Receipts. London: Meere, 1718.
Emy. L'art de bien faire les glaces d'office. Paris: Le Clerc, 1768.
David, Elizabeth. "Hunt the Ice Cream." Petits propos culinaires 1 (1979): 8–13.
David, Elizabeth. "Fromages glacés and Iced Creams." Petits propos culinaires 2 (1979): 23–35.
Harris, Henry G., and S. P. Borella. All about Ices, Jellies, Creams, and Conserves. London: Maclaren and Sons, 1926.
Marshall, Agnes B. The Book of Ices. London: Marshall's School of Cookery, 1894.
Marshall, Agnes B. Fancy Ices. London: Marshall's School of Cookery, 1922.
Nutt, Frederick. The Complete Confectioner. New York: Richard Scott, 1807.
Parkinson, Eleanor. The Complete Confectioner, Pastry-Cook, and Baker. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1844.
Rorer, Sarah Tyson. Mrs. Rorer's Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings. Philadelphia: Arnold and Company, 1913.
Senn, Charles Herman. Ices and How to Make Them. London: Universal Cookery and Food Association, 1900.
Stallings, W. S. Ice Creams and Water Ices in 17th and 18th Century England. London: Prospect Books, 1979. Issued as a supplement to Petits propos culinaires 3.
Williams, Mrs. H. Llewellyn. The Ice Book. Iced Beverages, Ice Creams, and Ices. New York: Wehman, 1891.
William Woys Weaver
Our love affair with ice cream is centuries old. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Jews were known to chill wines and juices. This practice evolved into fruit ices and, eventually, frozen milk and cream mixtures. In the first century, Emperor Nero reportedly sent messengers to the mountains to collect snow so that his kitchen staff could make concoctions flavored with fruit and honey. Twelve centuries later, Marco Polo introduced Europe to a frozen milk dessert similar to the modern sherbet that he had enjoyed in the Far East. The Italians were especially fond of the frozen confection that by the sixteenth century was being called ice cream. In 1533, the young Italian princess Catherine de Medici went to France as the bride of the future King Henry II. Included in her trousseau were recipes for frozen desserts. The first public sale of ice cream occurred in Paris at the Café Procope in 1670.
Frozen desserts were also popular in England. Guests at the coronation banquet of Henry V of England in the fourteenth century enjoyed a dessert called cremefrez. By the seventeenth century, Charles I was served creme ice on a regular basis. Eighteen-century English cookbooks contained recipes for ice cream flavored with apricots, violets, rose petals, chocolate, and caramel. Other early flavorings included macaroon and rum. In early America, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were especially fond of ice cream. Dolley Madison was known to serve it at White House state dinners.
Because ice was expensive and refrigeration had not yet been invented, ice cream was still considered a treat for the wealthy or for those in colder climates. (In a note written in 1794, Beethoven described the Austrians' fear that an unseasonably warm winter would prevent them from enjoying ice cream.) Furthermore, the process of making ice cream was cumbersome and time-consuming. A mixture of dairy products, eggs, and flavorings was poured into a pot and beaten while, simultaneously, the pot was shaken up and down in a pan of salt and ice.
The development of ice harvesting and the invention of the insulated icehouse in the nineteenth century made ice more accessible to the general public. In 1846, Nancy Johnson designed a hand-cranked ice cream freezer that improved production slightly. The first documented full-time manufacturing of ice cream took place in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1851 when a milk dealer named Jacob Fussell found himself with a surplus of fresh cream. Workipg quickly before the cream soured, Fussell made an abundance of ice cream and sold it at a discount. The popular demand soon convinced him that selling ice cream was more profitable than selling milk.
However, production was still cumbersome, and the industry grew slowly until the industrialization movement of the early twentieth century brought electric power, steam power, and mechanical refrigeration. By the 1920s, agricultural schools were offering courses on ice cream production. Trade associations for members of the industry were created to promote the consumption of ice cream and to fight proposed federal regulations that would call for selling ice cream by weight rather than volume, and the disclosure of ingredients.
The Prohibition era proved to be very profitable for the ice cream industry. Denied alcoholic beverages, many people ate ice cream instead. Breweries were often converted to ice cream factories, although it is likely that some of the plants were merely fronts for illegal liquor sales. Although the repeal of Prohibition in 1933 and the ensuing depression slowed ice cream sales, the industry continued to grow. The movie industry was especially instrumental in the promotion of ice cream and scenes depicting stars enjoying the frozen concoctions were plentiful. Ice cream parlors sprang up in every town and the parlor employee, the so-called soda jerk, developed into a cultural icon.
After World War II, with raw materials readily available again, the ice cream industry produced over 20 qt (19 1) of ice cream for each American per year. During the 1950s, competition sprang up between the ice cream parlor and the drug store that sold packaged ice cream. It was during this time that usage of lesser quality ingredients increased. Many producers were adding very low percentages of butterfat and pumping large quantities of air into the ice cream to fill out the carton.
The 1970s saw the development of gourmet ice cream manufacturers with an emphasis on natural ingredients. People also became interested in making ice cream at home. Upscale restaurants offer homemade ice cream on their dessert lists.
Today, ice cream is made from a blend of dairy products (cream, condensed milk, butterfat), sugar, flavorings, and federally approved additives. Eggs are added for some flavorings, particularly French vanilla. The broad guidelines allow producers to use ingredients ranging from sweet cream to nonfat dry milk, cane sugar to corn-syrup solids, fresh eggs to powdered eggs. Federal regulations do stipulate that each package of ice cream must contain at least 10% butterfat.
The additives, which act as emulsifiers and stabilizers, are used to prevent heat shock and the formation of ice crystals during the production process. The most common additives are guar gum, extracted from the guar bush, and carrageenan, derived from sea kelp or Irish moss.
Ice cream flavors have come a long way from the standard vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. By the 1970s, the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers had recorded over 400 different flavors of ice cream. In an ever-expanding array of combinations, fruit purees and extracts, cocoa powder, nuts, cookie pieces, and cookie dough are blended into the ice cream mixture.
Air is added to ice cream to improve its ability to absorb flavorings and to facilitate serving. Without air, ice cream becomes heavy and soggy. On the other hand, too much air results in ice cream that is snowy and dry. The federal government allows ice cream to contain as much as 100% of its volume in air, known in the industry as overrun.
Makers of high-quality ice cream (sometimes known as gourmet ice cream) use fresh whole dairy products, a low percentage of air (approximately 20%), between 16-20% butterfat, and as few additives as possible.
Although ice cream is available in a variety of forms, including novelty items such as chocolate-dipped bars and sandwiches, the following description applies to ice cream that is packaged in pint and half-gallon containers.
Blending the mixture
- 1 The milk arrives at the ice cream plant in refrigerated tanker trucks from local dairy farms. The milk is then pumped into 5,000 gal (18,925 1) storage silos that are kept at 36°F (2°C). Pipes bring the milk in pre-measured amounts to 1,000 gal (3,7851) stainless steel blenders. Premeasured amounts of eggs, sugar, and additives are blended with the milk for six to eight minutes.
Pasteurizing to kill bacteria
- 2 The blended mixture is piped to the pasteurization machine, which is composed of a series of thin stainless steel plates. Hot water, approximately 182°F (83°C), flows on one side of the plates. The cold milk mixture is piped through on the other side. The water warms the mixture to a temperature of 180°F (82°C), effectively killing any existing bacteria.
Homogenizing to produce a uniform texture
- 3 By the application of intensive air pressure, sometimes as much as 2,000 pounds per square inch (141 kg per sq cm), the hot mixture is forced through a small opening into the homogenizer. This breaks down the fat particles and prevents them from separating from the rest of the mixture. In the homogenizer, which is essentially a high-pressure piston pump, the mixture is further blended as it is drawn into the pump cylinder on the down stroke and then forced back out on the upstroke.
Cooling and resting to blend flavors
- 4 The mixture is piped back to the pasteurizer where cold water, approximately 34°F (1°C), flows on one side of the plates as the mixture passes on the opposite side. In this manner, the mixture is cooled to 36°F (2° C). Then the mixture is pumped to 5,000 gal (18,925 1) tanks in a room set at 36°F (2°C), where it sits for four to eight hours to allow the ingredients to blend.
Flavoring the ice cream
- 5 The ice cream is pumped to stainless steel vats, each holding up to 300 gal (1,136 1) of mixture. Flavorings are piped into the vats and blended thoroughly.
Freezing to soft-serve consistency
- 6 Now the mixture must be frozen. It is pumped into continuous freezers that can freeze up to 700 gal (2,650 1) per hour. The temperature inside the freezers is kept at -40°F(-40°C), using liquid ammonia as a freezing agent. While the ice cream is in the freezer, air is injected into it. When the mixture leaves the freezer, it has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
Adding fruit and sweetened chunks
- 7 If chunks of food such as strawberry or cookie pieces are to be added to the ice cream, the frozen mixture is pumped to a fruit feeder. The chunks are loaded into a hopper at the top of the feeder. Another, smaller hopper, fitted with a starwheel, is located on the front of the feeder. An auger on the bottom of the machine turns the hoppers so that the chunks drop onto the starwheel in pre-measured amounts. As the mixture passes through the feeder, the starwheel pushes the food chunks into the ice cream. The mixture then moves to a blender where the chunks are evenly distributed.
Packaging and bundling the finished product
- 8 Automatic filling machines drop preprinted pint or half-gallon-sized cardboard cartons into holders. The cartons are then filled with premeasured amounts of ice cream at the rate of 70-90 cartons per hour. The machine then places a lid on each cartons and pushes it onto a conveyer belt. The cartons move along the conveyer belt where they pass under a ink jet that spray-paints an expiration date and production code onto each carton. After the imprinting, the cartons move through the bundler, a heat tunnel that covers each cup with plastic shrink wrapping.
- 9 Before storage and shipping, the ice cream must be hardened to a temperature of -10°F (-23°C). The conveyer system moves the ice cream cartons to a tunnel set at -30°F (-34°C). Constantly turning ceiling fans create a wind chill of -60°F (-5 1°C). The cartons move slowly back and forth through the tunnel for two to three hours until the contents are rock solid. The cartons are then stored in refrigerated warehouses until they are shipped to retail outlets.
Every mixture is randomly tested during the production process. Butterfat and solid levels are tested. The bacteria levels are measured. Each mixture is also taste-tested.
Ice cream producers also carefully monitor the ingredients that they purchase from outside suppliers.
Ice cream manufacturers continue to develop new flavorings. Ironically, given the industry's experiences during Prohibition, one of the more recent innovations has been the introduction of liqueur-flavored ice creams.
Where to Learn More
Dickson, Paul. The Great American Ice Cream Book. Atheneum, 1972.
Lager, Fred. Ben and Jerry's: The Inside Scoop. Crown Publishers, 1994.
"Centrifugal pumps handle chocolate: overcoming the challenges of pumping heavy products." Dairy Foods, September 1994.
Gorski, Donna. "A cordial challenge." Dairy Foods, January 1995.
O'Donnell, Claudia D. "The story behind the story: two dairy processors tell a tale of fruits, flavors and nuts." Dairy Foods, May 1993.
ice cream, sweet frozen dessert, made from milk fat and solids, sugar, flavoring, a stabilizer (usually gelatin), and sometimes eggs, fruits, or nuts. The mix is churned at freezing temperature to attain a light, smooth texture. Water ices existed in the Roman Empire, and Marco Polo brought back from East Asia reports of iced, flavored foods. From Italy the confection spread to France and England, reaching America early in the 18th cent. Ice cream sundaes had become popular by the 1890s, and the ice cream cone was introduced in 1904. The manufacture of ice cream in the United States on a commercial scale began in 1851 in Baltimore and has become an important industry. Commercial ice cream is pasteurized and homogenized. Federal, state, local, and industry regulations as to percentage of milk fats and solids, purity of ingredients, and cleanliness of preparation and dispensing are designed to maintain the dietary value of ice cream and to inhibit bacterial multiplication, for which ice cream is a favorable medium. Similar frozen confections include the fat-rich bisque (with added bakery products), parfait (containing eggs), and mousse; frozen custard, generally low in fat; frozen yogurt, also low in fat; and ices and plain or milk sherbets, based on fruit juices and sugar.
See V. Cobb, The Scoop on Ice Cream (1985); W. S. Arbuckle, Ice Cream (1986).
According to UK regulations, contains not less than 5% fat and 7% other milk solids; according to US regulations, 10% milk fat and 20% other milk solids. Stabilizers such as carboxy methylcellulose, gums, and alginates are included, and emulsifiers such as polysorbate and monoglycerides. Mono‐ and diglycerides bind the looser globules of water and are added in ‘non‐drip’ ice cream.