Next challenges: more flavors and fewer calories

Dictionaries still describe ice cream as a sweet food, made from milk or fruit juice, consumed cold. However, this definition is now outdated. Currently we can find ice creams with all kinds of flavors, sweet or salty.

The history of ice cream is full of myths and legends. To anyone who wants to know about it, I recommend the article “Ice cream from ancient times to the present day”, published in Ice Cream Panadería Latinoamericana in 2015 by Gisselle Juri Morales and Juan Sebastián Ramírez-Navas, from the Colombian Universidad del Valle.

The evolution of ice cream is closely related to the development of refrigeration techniques. Likewise, in the 20th century, the professional ice cream parlor benefited from the development of crystallography applied to food products. The visualization of the structure of ice cream has made it possible to innovate in its formulation and, with it, obtain all the flavors imaginable.

From a chemical point of view, ice creams correspond to complex colloidal systems, that is, suspensions with various types of insoluble particles. Let’s analyze the function of each of the components. The air bubbles, which are covered by fat globules together with proteins, moderate the sensation of cold and provide softness and plasticity in the mouth. The fatty part confers flavour, creaminess, air retention and reduction of the melting temperature; its excess can be harmful, causing a greasy and heavy sensation in the mouth. Proteins favor air retention, but they hardly add flavor. The fibers play a structural role; promote stability.
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