The magic of emulsifiers and stabilizers in ice cream

    Highly functional tools that beat the Heat Shock Effect

    How can emulsifiers help?

    Multi-phase systems, whether they are water-in-oil, oil-in-water, solid-in-oil, or gas-in-liquid are inherently unstable. Emulsifiers, which are molecules with ambiphilic properties (part of structure is hydrophilic while other moieties are lipophilic), adopt a favourable position with respect to energy, reducing the surface tension between phases. In food products, the result is much greater stability – and that’s something that has far-reaching benefits.

    Ice cream with emulsifiers gains:

    How do they work?

    Emulsifiers commonly used in ice cream include mono-diglycerides (E471), lactic acid esters (E472b), propylene glycol esters (E477) and blends of these.

    Mono- and diglyceride emusifiers:

    • Provide optimum fat globular membrane composition
    • Ensure protein desorption from fat globule surface
    • Squeeze liquid fat out of fat globules
    • Agglomerate fat globules
    • Construct a 3D network for extra stability
    Propylene glycol esters in ice cream protect against the Heat Shock Effect by ensuring small ice crystals are created during freezing and reducing their tendency to grow during the journey to the consumer’s table. The image below shows how propylene glycol monostearate (PGMS) emulsifier maintains ice crystal size despite fluctuating transport and storage temperatures.  

    Beating Heat Shock With PGMS

    What are stabilizers? 

    Stabilizers are water-soluble polysaccharide extracted from land or marine plants or from micro-organisms. They are used to influence the viscosity or gelling behaviour of solutions.

    In ice cream production, stabilizers play many roles, supporting:

    • Storage stability
    • Control over ice crystal growth
    • Reduced risk of shrinkage
    • Improved melting resistance
    • Modified sensory properties
    • Stronger stand-up properties
    Without the right stabilizers, therefore, your ice cream products are likely to lack the resilience they’ll need to cope with the journey to the consumer’s table.

    A powerful combination

    Carefully designed combinations of emulsifiers and stabilizers, together with the right recipe and production parameters, can help to ensure a more consistently high-quality eating experience that brings consumers back for more.

    One such combination is Palsgaard® ExtruIce for ice cream, a fully integrated compound of emulsifier and stabilizer that:

    • Is easy dispersible
    • Doesn’t require pre-blending
    • Needs no de-blending during storage
    • Won’t create dust in the factory

     Want to know how to create the optimal Heat Shock-stable recipes for ice cream?

    Learn how we work

    Check out our video explaining how we work with ice cream producers around the world

    Questions about emulsifiers and stabilizers for ice creams?

    Please don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more about how the right combination of emulsifiers, stabilizers and know-how will help you beat the heat shock effect.

    Get more info in our ice cream brochure