Ice cream is one of the most popular sweet treats worldwide. And why wouldn’t it be? This delicious dessert born in Italy has become a staple for anyone looking to indulge their taste buds the world over.
The best ice cream is made with the top ingredients, but that’s not enough. Pasteurizing ice cream is a critical aspect of the manufacturing process that makes it safe to consume.
The introduction of pasteurisation in the ice cream industry stemmed from concerns about the safety of the product, which is made with milk and raw eggs. This technique was adopted as a safeguard for consumers because these ingredients can contain foodborne diseases.
However, the pasteurisation process also served as an equaliser, enabling manufacturers to offer consistent quality, which has probably had a lot to do with the widespread adoption of ice cream in the USA and worldwide since.
In this article, we’ll delve a bit into what pasteurisation is and how it helps manufacturers enhance ice cream in various different ways.
What is pasteurisation?
We are surrounded by microorganisms, and while many are harmless, others aren’t. This is why killing pathogens in liquid products is of paramount importance. To do so, the process called “pasteurisation” heats the products, while preserving the flavour and texture.
The process gets its name from its inventor, the scientist Louis Pasteur. And even though the technique, which was developed in the 19th century, is nothing extraordinary, it requires strict protocols to ensure safety.
In the case of ice cream, there are two methods. In the first one, the mix is heated to a temperature of 155°F or 68°C for 30 minutes. In the second, it’s heated to 175°F or 79°C for 25 seconds.
Naturally, because it’s ice cream, the mix is quickly cooled after this process to prevent overcooking. Then, it’s ready for homogenization and other further techniques until it’s finally served at your favourite ice cream parlor.
Its importance in the ice cream industry
Even though you probably won’t go to such lengths when making delicious homemade ice cream at home, it’s a necessary step in the manufacturing industry, as there are safety standards that companies need to comply with to sell their products.
But besides keeping bacteria and other pathogens at bay, there are other benefits. Let’s check them out.
Enhancing some properties
While the flavour itself won’t change much, pasteurisation does help in changing the texture of the mix. The process makes it more uniform and smoother thanks to denaturing the proteins. This helps with emulsification and offers a more airy consistency.
Longer shelf life
If you’re thinking of distributing your product, pasteurising the ice cream will improve its shelf life allowing you to increase your reach and distribute your product over greater distances. It also makes it more competitive.
Enhanced quality control
Premium ice cream is one of the biggest drivers in the ice cream market, and with pasteurisation, you’re ensuring a quality and consistent end product.
Pasteurisation is a crucial process that not only helps ice cream to be safe but also enhances its qualities in many aspects. Even though it’s simple, it requires specialised equipment with precise controls.
The resulting product will not only be safe, but have an enhanced texture, longer expiration date, and will taste the same each and every time.