Who doesn’t want to have ice creams? From the age of 5 years to the age of 80 years, everyone loves ice creams and in any season. Ice creams are sold in many varieties of packaging variants and flavours across the world. After a survey, Consumer VOICE revealed that the most selling variant and common variety is Vanilla flavour. Consumer VOICE tested 9 famous brands of ice creams and 2 desserts of Vanilla flavour.
Ice cream is an enormously popular food. These are actually purchased based on consumer’s preferences, choices and needs. Consumer VOICE chooses family pack size of about 1 litre for comparative testing. To make people aware about the ice creams, Consumer VOICE took 11 brands of the most popular flavour, i.e. Vanilla. For evaluation of these brands based on National Standards, other consumer expectations and inherent substances normally found in its raw material, we finalized the test programme considering various key parameters. The Ice cream brands were gone through the microbiological and sensory tests to judge the consumer acceptability of product.
The microbiological parameters covered pathogenic and other bacterial contamination tests, which were conducted to judge the quality of ice cream in term of microbial safety. It has been found that 3 brands—‘Nirula’s’, ‘Vadilal’ and ‘Verka’ could not qualify to be fully acceptable from microbiological safety point of view.
The Ice-cream Scoop
Most people are very familiar with the appearance, taste and texture of ice cream and there are many recipes for making it in cookery books. However, few people know why certain ingredients and a time consuming preparation process are required. The answer is that ice cream is an extremely complex, intricate and delicate substance.
In term of inherent quality of the products, in respect of various key parameters, brand ‘Amul’ fulfills all the requirement on quality and safety, and is top performer followed by brand ‘Heritage’ and ‘Metro’. Brands ‘Kwality Wall’s’ and ‘Vadilal’ after examining their labels. It was noticed that these brands are actually frozen desserts, thus these brands (were deviating from labeling requirement) should distinctly mark on label and recommend to those who are restricted to consume milk fat and protein.
Sweet and Creamy
Since ice creams are emulsified and whipped with air, due to which their ratio between volumes by weight is more and consumers get just over 50% of the whole mass in term of its volume. Thus, low value for money consumers gets especially if you compare with the traditional kulfis made of boiled milk. About total fat, brand ‘Mother Dairy’ was the top performer indicating high level of milk cream contents. In term of taste that attracts most of the consumers about this product, brands ‘Amul’, ‘MTR’ ‘Cream Bell’ and ‘Verka’ were the tastier among all the brands but brands ‘Kwality Wall‘s’, ‘Vadilal’ and ‘Nirula’s’ were less tasty. In overall performance, brands ‘Amul’, ‘Metro’, ‘Heritage’ and ‘MTR’ are recommended best for consumption. Brands ‘Nirula’s’, ‘Vadilal’ and ‘Verka’ are advised to go for preventive steps to minimize microbial contaminants to take care of their production and supply chain to avoid recurrence and thus care for human safety.
Over-run (fluffing) in Ice Cream
The determination of over-run in frozen and hardened ice cream is a complex problem to solve because the weight of mix is unknown and has to be determined. The over-run in ice cream depends upon the amount of air whipped into the mix, during the freezing process.
Volume v/s Weight of Ice-Creams
As per the Indian Standards, net weight of ice cream and frozen dessert should be minimum 525 gm/litre and for medium fat frozen dessert, it should be minimum 475 gm/litre. However, brands ‘Baskin Robbins’, ‘Kwality Walls’ and ‘Heritage’ were found underweight. Brand Amul topped in terms of weight/volume (620gms/1000ml).
Brief of Key Parameters
Moisture: This generally refers to the presence of water and should be minimum. But brand ‘Kwality Walls’ was found with a higher moisture content, among all the tested brands.
Milk Fat: Butter-fat or milk fat is the fatty portion of milk. Ice cream consists of milk fat. The fat component adds richness of flavour, contributes to a smooth texture with creamy body and good meltdown, and adds lubrication to the palate as it is consumed.
Frozen dessert consists of vegetable fat instead of milk fat. Vegetable fats are used extensively as fat sources in frozen dessert.
The value of milk fat in ice cream and vegetable oil / fat in frozen dessert should not be less than 10% and in case of medium fat frozen dessert, it should be in between 5–10%. The test shows brand ‘Mother Dairy’ has the highest total fat percentage, whereas, brand ‘Heritage’ was found to be the lowest amongst all.
Protein: These modify the texture of the ice cream and frozen dessert in other ways, making it chewier, and giving it body. Proteins also help to emulsify the fats, keeping the fat globules suspended in the mix.
Acidity as Lactic Acid: Acidity of a packaged product is related to the shelf life of the product. If acidity (lactic acid) is lower than the minimum limit, microbes may grow, will allow contamination of the product, and reduce the shelf life of the product. All the brands conform the maximum limit in the test.
Sucrose: This ingredient gives sweet taste and uniform texture to the product. Besides thick density, it also acts as a preservative. The sugars give the product its characteristic sweetness and palatability and enhance the perception of various fruit flavours. Brand ‘Metro’ was found with higher sucrose and brand ‘Nirula’s’ was found with lower sucrose content, in the test.
Synthetic Colour: Colour is one of the main reasons why people enjoy the ice cream. A food colour is substance that is added to food product to change its colour. Except brands ‘Baskin Robbins’ and ‘Nirula’s’, all the brands were free from synthetic colour, which is good for consumer.
Saccharine: It is an artificial sweetener. It has effectively no food energy and is much sweeter than sucrose, but has an unpleasant bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. Each brand passed this test, as no brand is added with saccharine.
Vegetable Fat: Vegetable fats and oils are lipid materials derived from plants. Ice cream expected to be free from vegetable fat. However, frozen dessert consists of vegetable fat instead of milk fat.
Trans Fat: Trans Fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids. Just like saturated fats, they also raise the level of ‘bad’ cholesterol in blood. All the brands were free from trans fat.
Cholesterol: Cholesterol plays a central role in many biochemical processes, which is best known for the association of cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol especially bad one also increasing the risk of nervous system problems, brain synapse connectivity, gall bladder stones and perhaps even cancer. These cholesterols are inherently found in the milk fats processed from animal milk. Brand ‘Mother Dairy’ was found with higher cholesterol content however brand ‘Kwality Walls’ was found with lower quantity of cholesterol.
Standard Plate Count: Microbiological contamination is a very serious issue for all food products. We conducted this test for Standard Plate count, Yeast & Mould, Coliform count, S. aureus, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria monocytogenes and Anaerobic spore count. Microorganisms are responsible for many foods born disease. Due to improper or poor hygienic condition during processing of ice cream, microorganisms occur in the finished product. Brands ‘Nirula’s’, ‘Vadilal’ and ‘Verka’ had Anaerobic spore count more than the limit thus not safe for consumption.
As per the Indian Standard total plate count in ice cream should not be more than 2.5x105. Brand ‘Cream Bell’ and Nirula’s did not meet the requirement and found with total plate count more than the maximum limit.
Yeast and Mould Count: Brands ‘Cream Bell’, ‘Nirula’s’, ‘Vadilal’, ‘Verka’ and Mother Dairy were found with highest yeast and mould count, which should be absent.
Good for Consumers
All the brands tested, were found to be free from, artificial sweeteners, vegetable fats, trans-fat, starch, gelatin etc.
Ice Cream Facts
Comparative performance of ice-creams
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