Many people love to enjoy frozen treats such as ice cream and frozen dessert, especially during the hot summer days. But do you know what are the main differences between these two products and how they are produced? And which one is more suitable for your health and taste preferences? Here is a comprehensive article that will explain these questions.
What is ice cream?
A frozen dessert, ice cream is made of dairy ingredients such milk or cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and other flavourings. The combination is then processed into ice cream, which is a soft, creamy solid. Depending on the ingredients and preparation techniques, ice cream can have a variety of textures, flavours, and colours. Typical varieties of ice cream include:
Vanilla ice cream: The most basic and popular flavor of ice cream, made with vanilla beans or extract.
Chocolate ice cream: Ice cream flavored with cocoa powder or chocolate chips.
Strawberry ice cream: Ice cream flavored with fresh or frozen strawberries or strawberry syrup.
Butter pecan ice cream: Ice cream with roasted pecans and buttery caramel swirls.
What is frozen dessert?
Frozen dessert is a general term that refers to any frozen product that is not made from dairy products. Instead, frozen desserts use vegetable oil or Vanaspati (hydrogenated vegetable oil) as the main fat source . Frozen desserts can also have various ingredients such as sugar, water, stabilizers, emulsifiers, colors, and flavors. Some common types of frozen desserts are:
Sorbet: A frozen dessert made from fruit juice or puree, sugar, and water. Sorbet has a smooth and icy texture and is usually vegan and gluten-free.
Gelato: A frozen dessert made from milk, sugar, and sometimes eggs. Gelato has a dense and rich texture and is usually lower in fat than ice cream.
Frozen yogurt: A frozen dessert made from yogurt, milk, sugar, and sometimes fruit. Frozen yogurt has a tangy and creamy texture and is usually lower in fat and calories than ice cream.
Ice pop: A frozen dessert made from fruit juice or puree, sugar, water, and sometimes milk or yogurt. Ice pop has a solid and refreshing texture and is usually molded into different shapes.
How are they produced?
The process of producing ice cream and frozen dessert can vary depending on the type and quality of the product. However, here are some general steps that are involved in producing both products:
Mixing: The ingredients are mixed together in a large tank or vat to form a liquid base. The base is then pasteurized to kill any harmful bacteria and homogenized to create a smooth consistency.
Aging: The base is cooled down to about 4°C (39°F) and stored for several hours or overnight to allow the fat to crystallize and the flavors to develop.
Freezing: The base is pumped into a continuous freezer where it is whipped with air (called overrun) and frozen to about -6°C (21°F). The amount of air affects the texture and volume of the product. More air makes the product lighter and softer, while less air makes it denser and harder.
Packaging: The frozen product is transferred to containers or molds and stored in a blast freezer at -18°C (-0.4°F) or lower to prevent ice crystals from forming. The product is then ready to be distributed or sold.
Which one is better?
There is no definitive answer to which one is superior between ice cream and frozen dessert, as it depends on your personal preference, taste, budget, and health goals. However, here are some factors that you can consider when choosing between them:
Taste: Ice cream generally has a richer and creamier taste than frozen dessert, as it contains more fat from dairy products. However, some people may prefer the lighter and fruitier taste of sorbet or the tangy taste of frozen yogurt. The quality of the ingredients also affects the taste of the product. Natural flavors tend to be more authentic and satisfying than artificial ones.
Nutrition: Ice cream generally has more calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calcium than frozen dessert, as it contains more dairy products. However, some frozen desserts may have more sugar or additives than ice cream to compensate for the lack of fat. The nutrition facts of each product can vary widely depending on the type, brand, flavor, serving size, and toppings. Therefore, it is important to read the labels carefully before buying or consuming any product.
Health benefits: Both ice cream and frozen dessert can have some health benefits if consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Ice cream can provide protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin, which are essential for bone health, muscle growth, vision, blood formation, energy metabolism, and nervous system function.
Frozen dessert can provide antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, probiotics, and water, which are beneficial for immune system function, skin health, digestion, gut health, and hydration.
Health risks: Both products can also have some health risks if consumed excessively or by people with certain medical conditions.
Ice cream can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and lactose intolerance, as it contains high amounts of sugar, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and lactose.
Frozen dessert can cause allergic reactions, inflammation, hyperactivity, liver damage, and kidney damage, as it may contain hydrogenated oils (trans fats), artificial colors (such as Sunset Yellow), and other additives.
Therefore, it is advisable to limit your intake of both products to no more than one serving per day (about half a cup) .
Ice cream and frozen dessert are two different types of frozen treats that have different ingredients, methods, textures, flavours, and nutritional values. Both products can be enjoyed occasionally as part of a balanced diet, but they also have some potential health risks if consumed excessively or by people with certain medical conditions. Therefore, it is important to read the labels carefully before buying or consuming any product, and to choose natural, high-quality, and low-sugar options whenever possible.