How to produce low-fat ice cream without compromises

Healthier alternatives

Ice cream is traditionally produced with 8-10% of fat and approximately 15% of sugar. Lowering the level of fat has until now caused decreased eating quality expressed as less creaminess, body and smoothness. This is not accepted by today’s consumers. For healthier alternatives to become successful, the eating quality should be at least at same level as standard products.

It is now possible to make ice cream with low fat content and still maintaining pleasure of eating the ice cream. The high quality is kept throughout the whole shelf-life of the ice cream. No need to compromise as Palsgaard has developed Palsgaard® IceTriple, a series of integrated emulsifiers and stabilisers especially suited for low-fat and even also low sugar ice cream, yet still leaving the sensory properties, melting resistance and storage stability at the same level as premium ice cream.


A very important property in ice cream is creaminess. Creaminess is the result of a complex interaction between the composition of raw materials and the production process. Quality as well as quantity of the raw materials plays an important role. Creaminess in ice cream is mainly defined by the distribution and size of air bubbles in the end product together with the size of ice crystals – a phenomenon in which the right choice of emulsifiers, in particular, becomes important.

Palsgaard® IceTriple

Traditionally, a certain fat content has been required in order to create a fat globule network surrounding and stabilising the air cells. Palsgaard® IceTriple adds an extremely smooth and creamy sensation to ice cream and allows for significant fat reductions without compromising on neither the sensory characteristics nor the melting profiles and heat shock stability. Please refer to fig. 1 and 2 for a graphic illustration of the sensory profiles comparing Palsgaard® IceTriple with standard emulsifiers/stabilisers.

Figure 1: Comparison of ice cream with different fat content and emulsifier/stabiliser systems
Figure 2: Comparison of heat shock stability of 5% fat ice cream with different emulsifier/stabiliser systems.

More uniform air cell distribution is also related to better melting resistance. The melting profile of a particular ice cream is strongly influenced by the choice of emulsifiers in the recipe: emulsifiers control the degree of protein desorption and affect fat crystallisation during ageing of the emulsion. Consequently, they improve the whippability of the ice cream mix and the stability of the air cell walls. The improved melting profile is ensured primarily through the presence of the mono- and diglyceride fraction of the compounds.

Heat shock stability

Palsgaard® IceTriple offers excellent heat shock stability to ice cream. This ensures a pleasant texture and mouth feel even after repeated exposure to fluctuating temperatures. In most parts of the world, ice cream is exposed to fluctuating temperatures before consumption, which in most cases will damage its texture, mouth feel and appearance. The risk of damage to the ice cream is enhanced when the recipe is reduced in fat. When standard emulsifier systems are used, it is well known that shrinkage may appear as a consequence of severe structure collapse. With Palsgaard® IceTriple the heat shock sensitivity even in low-fat formulations is reduced to a minimum.

The conclusion is that the ice cream manufactures by using Palsgaard® IceTriple can meet the requirements from the consumers concerning healthier food without compromising the quality.