Perfect ice cream or gelato. Getting the hardness or "scoopability" just right. (2022)

Perfect ice cream or gelato. Getting the hardness or "scoopability" just right.

In this article we will explore how to use mix composition to control thehardness or "scoopability" of ice cream or gelato. The serving temperature which influences the concentration of ice presentwill also beconsidered. The volume of air added during freezing (overrun), the manufacturing process and the concentration and type of emulsifier can also affect hardness.

However, these effects are generally less significant than the concentration of sweeteners used and serving temperature. This article should be read in conjunction with the article on the sweetness of ice cream.

This article originally had the title "Goldilock's ice cream. Controlling hardness or scoopability." Goldilocks was a character from "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" a British 19th-century fairy tale and I originally thought that everyone would understand if an ice cream was acceptable to Goldilocks it had to be good! I have changed the title to reflect that many readers have not read this fairy tale and I may have been inadvertenly confusing people.

Download Excel spreadsheets for calculating the freezing point depression curves of ice cream and gelato mixes.

There is an extensive range of flavoured ice creams (Plate 1) however there is frequently a marked difference in hardness between

flavours, e.g. the chocolate flavouris oftenharder, more difficult to scoop,than the vanilla or strawberry flavours.

While it is unclear how much the consumer in the UK, or the US, is concerned with differences in hardness between flavours, and batches of flavours,gelato enthusiasts are and demand gelato of consistent and similarhardness regardless of flavour.

Plate 1.Range of flavouredgelato in a retail display cabinet in Naples, Italy.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of specialist ice cream shops / parlours or gelateria. Many of these gelateria owners, particularly in continental Europe, require ice cream or gelato that is of consistent sweetness and resistance to scooping, also called dipping in the U.S., or more simply hardness. Consequently food technologists should have a good understanding of how to formulate an ice cream mix to control the hardness and sweetness of the ice cream.

Freezing point depression

Pure water at standard pressure (101.325 kPa) freezes at 0°C. Addition of sugar e.g. sucrose will lower the temperature at which the water freezes; the freezing point depression (FPD).

The FPD of an ice cream mix depends mainly on the number of sweetener molecules in the mix recipe and the number of milk salt ions. The number of molecules depends on the weight of the sweetener added and its molecular or formula weight. This effect can be illustrated using two common sugars, fructose and sucrose. Fructose has a molecular weight of approximately 180 whereas sucrose has a molecular weight of about 342. The FPD of a 1% fructose solution is approximately twice that of a similar sucrose solution because there is almost twice as many molecules of fructose present in the fructose solution; fructose has about half the formula weight of sucrose. This effect is shown in figure 1 and is derived theoretically in examples 1 and 2.

Perfect ice cream or gelato. Getting the hardness or "scoopability" just right. (1)

The effect of a solute e.g. glucose on the freezing point depression of a solvent e.g. water can be calculated in dilute solutions using equation 1.

Equation 1. ΔTf = iKfm

Where ΔTf is the freezing point depression, i is the van't Hoff Factor, Kf is the molal freezing-point depression constant (this is solute specific) and m is the molar concentration of the solute. The units for Kf are °C m-1and the Kf value for water is 1.86 °C m-1. The van't Hoff Factor is determined from the number of ions in the molecular formula of an ionic compound. Since carbohydrate-sweeteners are not ionic compounds the van't Hoff Factor will not be considered further and is removed from the equations in the examples below.

We will now illustrate use of equation 1 by calculating the theoretical freezing point depressions of 1% (w/w) solutions of glucose (Example 1)and sucrose (Example 2)in water.

Example 1. Calculate the FPD of a 1% w/w solution of glucose in water.

Given: glucose has a molecular weight of 180.16 and water has a Kf of 1.86 °C m-1.

Calculate the moles of glucose present in 1 kg of water. Equation 1 is then used to calculate ΔTf .

Moles of glucose =10 = 0.0555 moles

ΔTf = 0.0555 x 1.86

Freezing point depression = - 0.103°C.

Example 2. Calculate the FPD of a 1% w/w solution of sucrose in water.

Given: sucrose has a molecular weight of 342.29 and water has a Kf of 1.86 °C m-1.

Calculate the moles ofsucrose present in 1 kg of water. Equation 1 is then used to calculate ΔTf .

Moles of sucrose = 10 = 0.0292 moles

ΔTf = 0.0292 x 1.86

Freezing point depression = - 0.054°C.

The calculations above show that the monosaccharide glucose depresses the freezing point of water by almost twice the disaccharide sucrose. This effect explains why monosaccharide’s e.g. glucose and fructose depress freezing point more than disaccharides such as lactose and sucrose. Pentose’s such as xylitol depress the freezing point even further.

(Video) Rating The Scoopability Of Our Ice Creams tiktok coldstoneflorida

This effect, the greater the number ofmolecules of sweetener thenthelower the FPD, is known as a colligative effect and is independent of the chemical nature of the solute.

The FPD of an ice cream mix, and the hardness of the final ice cream, can be controlled by varying the concentration of sweetener or sweeteners added. As the sucrose concentration is increased softer ice cream will be produced. However the ice cream may become too sweet prior to the desirable softness being obtained. Alternatively part of the sucrose can be replaced with a less sweet sugar e.g. glucose, which has approximately twice the FPD of sucrose. Another option might be to use fructose that has an identical FPD to glucose (both sugars have the same formula weight) but is much sweeter than sucrose along with glucose syrup and reduce the concentration of sucrose used.

The freezing point depression factor

Food scientists and technologists can calculate the theoretical freezing point depression or determine the actual freezing point of ice cream mixes and construct freezing curves. These can be used to calculate the concentration of ice and unfrozen water in ice cream at particular serving temperatures and are very useful in product development. This topic will be discussed later. However, this approach is not widely used outside the larger companies that have good research and development facilities. Instead methods based on calculation of the freezing point depression factor (FPDF) of individual sweeteners in mixes are more widely used.

These calculations are based on summing the freezing point depression factor (FPDF) of each sweetener (lactose is not usually included in the US, UK and Ireland) used in the ice cream mix to give a total value that is then used for control purposes. Note lactose is included in the calculation of FPDF in continental Europe where the calculation is called Potere Anti Congelante, PAC. FPDF is not the same as the FPD which was mentioned previously and is a dimensionless number.

Ice cream manufacturers calculate the FPDF of a sweetener compared with an equivalent concentration of sucrose. Sucrose is used as a standard and allocated a value of 1. The FPDF of other sweeteners is obtained by dividing their formula weight into the formula weight of sucrose. The FPDF for a range of sweeteners is shown in Table 1. Note, manufacturers’ mean molecular weight data for syrups and maltodextrins should be used if available.

Table 1. The relative freezing point depression factor (FPDF) of selected sweeteners, sodium chloride and ethanol.


Approximate molecular (or mean molecular) weight

Freezing point depression factor*




Salt** (sodium chloride)58.45.9

Alcohol** (ethanol)









Glucose Syrup 62 DE***



Glucose Syrup 42 DE***



Glucose Syrup 36 DE***



Glucose Syrup 28 DE***






HFCS (42% fructose) ***


HFCS (55% fructose)***


HFCS (90% fructose)***


Invert sugar






Litesse® Polydextrose






Maltose Syrup – 70%*** maltose



Maltodextrin 18 DE****



Maltodextrin 15 DE****



Maltodextrin 10 DE****



Maltodextrin 5 DE****


















* Calculated by dividing the molecular weight of the sweetener into the molecular weight of sucrose. ** Salt and ethanol are included for comparative purposes. From: *** Smith and Bradley (1983); **** Hull (2010).

1 While this polyol has certain advantages as a partial replacer for sucrose it has a tendency to crystalliseand its use can result in very hard ice cream or gelato. Erythritol crystallises in ice cream and gelato at around 8% w/w. Once 8% is exceeded regardless of its freezing point depression effect, ice cream becomes harder. Because of this it must be used in combination with other sweeteners.

Calculation of the freezing point depression factor

Calculations illustrating how to determine the FPDF of sweeteners are shown in Examples 3 and 4 below.

Example 3. Calculate the FPDF of sorbitol.

Sorbitol and sucrose have approximate formula weights of 182 and 342 respectively.

The FPD of sorbitol is 342 = 1.9

This means that a solution of sorbitol depresses the freezing point by about twice as much as a similar solution of sucrose. Sorbitol is about 60% as sweet as sucrose.

Example 4. Calculate the FPDF of a 28 DE glucose syrup given that it has an average formula weight of 643.

The FPD of a 28 DE glucose syrup 342 = 0.5

This means that a 10% solution of a 28 DE glucose syrup depresses the freezing point by about half as much as a 10% solution of sucrose. In real life this means that a 28 DE glucose syrup has only a small effect of FPD.

Further examples are provided in a very useful book on glucose syrups by Hull (2010).

Calculation of the FPDF of commercial ice cream mixes and its use in the control of hardness of ice cream (lactose not included)

Examples of FPDF calculations used to predict the hardness of ice cream are illustrated below.

These calculations are performed by tabulating the sweeteners present in 100 g of mix, the weight of sweetener added, their FPDF from table 1 and the total FPDF of each sweetener (product of the FPDF of the sweetener and the weight added). The total FPDF of each sugar is summed to give a total FPDF value for the mix (tables 2 and 3). Lactose is supplied by the the milk solids not fat (MSNF) components and is generally excluded from calculations outside mainland Europe. The justification for doing so is that the concentration of MSNF is generally constant between mixes (and is usually outside the manufacturer’s control). On the other hand the major variables affecting FPDF are the added sweeteners; these are controlled by the product developer and are included in the calculation. However, there are occasions when the lactose concentration must be considered and there is a case for routinely including it in FPDF calculations.

The mix in table 2 has a FPDF of 15. Apart from sucrose no other sugars have been added. Note it is also advisable to calculate relative sweetness when undertaking these calculations. A mix with a FPDF of 15 will give a hard ice cream the sort of ice cream called ‘brick’ ice cream in the UK and Ireland. This brick ice cream is typically cut into slices and made into ‘sliders’ in Ireland or eaten after being scooped (with a little difficulty- the scoop is often ‘warmed’) from domestic freezers, operating at around -18 °C, into dishes. Note scooping hard ice cream can result in wrist and other injuries with the potential for industrialinjury claims (Dempsey et al., 2000).

Table 2. Determining the total FPDF of an ice cream mix containing added sucrose


Weight, g


Total FPDF of sweetener

Relative sweetness






Total FPDF or relative sweetness of mix



The mix shown in table 3 has a FPDF of about 25 and a similar relative sweetness to the previous mix. A mix with this FPDF would be easy to scoop and quite soft at -18°C.

Table 3. Determining the total FPDF of an ice cream mix containing several added sweeteners.


Weight, g


Total FPDF of sweetener

Relative sweetness











Glucose Syrup 62 DE





Total FPDF or relative sweetness of mix



Ice cream stored -18°C made with mixes with FPDFs ranging from around 20-25 will give easy to scoop ice cream. Similar ice cream stored at this temperature and made from mixes with FPDFs of <15 will be quite hard.

Relating FDPF values to hardness

It is relatively easy to produce a table listing FPDF values against recommended serving temperatures. As a general guideline gelato and ice cream producers should formulate mixes with FDPF values that give around 65 to 70% frozen water at the intended serving temperature. This can be done simply, either by trials or determining the freezing curve for the gelato mix and establishing the temperature that the mix is 65 to 70% frozen.

Regretfully accurateinformation on the precise relationship between FPDF is not readily available outside of companies some of which consider the theinformation to be commercially sensitive.

Application of the Potere Anti Congelante (PAC) method to control the hardness of ice cream

Lactose depresses the freezing point of water in a similar way to sucrose but is generally not included in FTDF calculations in the UK and North America. In continental Europe PAC is widely used to characterise ice cream mixes.

Examples of PAC calculations are given in examples 5, 6 and 7.

In example5 a simple mix containing 10% MSNF is considered however the ingredients required to obtain these solids have not been defined.

Example 5. Calculate the PAC of an ice cream mix given the percentage values of major constituents

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Given: a mix containing (w/w) 10% MSNF, 8% fat, 12% sucrose and 0.3% emulsifier/stabiliser. Lactose constitutes 54.5% of MSNF (Van Slyke and Bosworth, 1915).

The fat and the emulsifier/stabiliser have minimal effect on the FPDF and are not considered.

Calculate the sugars present in 100 g of mix.

The lactose present in the MSNF* is calculated.

lactose = 0.545 x 10. Lactose constitutes about54.5% w/w of MSNF (Van Slyke and Bosworth, (1915).

= 5.45 g


The PAC of each sugar is next calculated.

PAC from lactose=5.45* x 1


The PAC from sucrose=12 x 1


The PAC of the mix is 12 + 5.45


This will give a hard ice cream at -18 °C.

The calculations described in example6 are a little more complicated since several sweeteners are used. This is a fairly typical Italian Gelato recipe designed to make gelato for serving at around -11°C. The gelato will be relatively easy to scoop at this temperature.

Example 6. Calculate the PAC of an ice cream mix containing several added sweeteners

Given: a mix containing (w/w) 8% fat, 14% sucrose, 2% dextrose, 2% invert sugar, 10% skim milk powder (SMP), 0.3% emulsifier/stabiliser and 36.6 % total solids. Lactose constitutes 54.5% of MSNF (Van Slyke and Bosworth, 1915). SMP contains 97% MSNF.

The fat and the emulsifier/stabiliser have minimal effect on the FPDF and are not considered.

The sugars present in 100 g of mix are calculated starting with the lactose present in the SMP*.

Lactose = 10 x 0.97 x 0.545

= 5.29g

Sucrose= 14g
Dextrose= 2g

Invert sugar= 2

The PAC of each sugar is calculated.

PAC from lactose= 5.29* x 1

= 5.29

The PAC from sucrose=14 x 1

= 14

The PAC from invert sugar=2 x 1.9

= 3.8

The PAC from dextrose=2 x 1.9

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The PAC of the mix is 5.29 + 14 + 3.8 +3.8


Cream is frequently used in ice cream and gelato manufacture. The higher the fat concentration the lower the concentration of MSNF and the lower the quantity of lactose supplied.

How the MSNF in cream is calculated and the lactose contributed by cream to ice cream mixes determined is discussed in example7. It should be apparent that the quantity of lactose contributed by cream in this example is too small to have any significant influence on the freezing properties of the ice cream mix although it would be included in PAC calculations.

Example 7. How is the PAC from the lactose in cream added to an ice cream mix calculated?

Calculate the PAC from the lactose contributed by the addition of 10% cream of 35% fat to an ice cream mix.

Given: MSNF = (100 – (fat content of cream)) x 0.09 () and that 54.5% of the MSNF is lactose (

Determine the MSNF supplied by the cream.

100-(35) x 0.09 x 0.1

=0.59 g

Determine the lactose in the MSNF

=0.59 x 0.545


PAC =0.32 x 1

= 0.32

Are there advantages in using the Potere Anti Congelante method of calculating freezing point depression factor?

Yes, there are several advantages.

Most gelato manufacturers have good information on the relationship between PAC values and serving temperature and this information is relatively easy to obtain.

The PAC method should be used when batches of ice cream of significantly variable lactose concentration are being produced e.g. when ingredients containing high concentrations of lactose are used or mixes give softer than expected ice cream. Note, either of the methods described in this article will help manufacturers achieve the production of ice cream of consistent hardness.

Again manufacturers require a table showing PAC values that give ice cream or gelato of ideal hardness at particular temperatures.

I cannot emphasise enough how useful it is for anyone seriously interested in product development of ice cream or gelato to be able to construct a freezing curve for their mix.

How to reformulate ice cream mixes to obtain desired hardness characteristics

It is usually straightforward to reformulate mixes to obtain ice cream of the required hardness (note relative sweetness must also be considered!) providing the ice cream maker can provide a table showing the percentage ingredients on a weight per weight basis. Replacing sucrose with a mixture of fructose or inert sugar and glucose or high DE glucose syrups can easily be used to produce a range of mixes with defined hardness characteristics. The addition of relatively small quantities of glycerol or ethanol (e.g. from whiskey, rum and various spirits) can also be used to significantly lower the FPD.

The following examples, Examples 8 and 9,are intended to further illustrate how mixes can be reformulated to produce ice cream or gelato of defined FPDF or PAC values.

Example 8. Reformulate an ice cream mix to obtain a FPDF of 25 while maintaining a relative sweetness of 13.

Given: A mix containing 8% fat, 13% sucrose, 0.3% emulsifier/stabiliser and 11.0% MSNF. Sweeteners available: sucrose, glucose and invert sugar.

From table 1, sucrose has a FPDF of 1, glucose = 1.9 and invert sugar = 1.9. Sucrose has a RS of 1, glucose a RS of 0.8 and invert sugar a value of 1.3

This mix has a FPDF of 13 (13 x 1) and a relative sweetness of 13 (13 x 1) and will need to be adjusted so that the FPDF is increased (FP lowered) while maintaining the RS value.

This is achieved by reducing the sucrose and replacing it with with glucose and fructose. More glucose than fructose will be required because the glucose is less sweet than the other sweeteners. The weights of each sweetener are summed so that the combined values of relative sweetness and FPDF meet the target values required.

It is very easy to set up a simple Excel spread sheet and solve problems like this in a few seconds automatically using Solver. However, these very simple calculations can be done manually.

The solution is 2.3 g of sucrose, 9.7g of glucose and 2.3g of fructose.

The RS = 2.3 x 1 + 9.7 x 0.8 + 2.3 x 1.4


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The FPDF = 2.3 x 1 + 9.7 x 1.9 + 2.3 x 1.9

= 25

Example 9. Reformulate an ice cream mix to obtain a POD of 27 while maintaining a DOP of 17.

Given: A mix containing 8% fat,16% sucrose, 0.3% emulsifier/stabiliser and 11.0% MSNF. Sweeteners available: sucrose, Glucose Syrup 42 DE and invert sugar.

From table 1, lactose has a FPDF of 1, sucrose has a FPDF of 1, Glucose Syrup 42 DE = 0.8 and invert sugar= 1.9. Lactose has a RS of 0.16, sucrose has a RS of 1, Glucose Syrup 42 DE a RS of 0.5 and invert sugar a value of 1.3.

This mix has a FPDF of 22 [(16 x 1) + (11 x 0.545 x 1)] and a DOP of 17 [(16 x 1) + (11 x 0.545 x 0.16)] and will need to be adjusted so that the FPDF is increased (FP lowered) while maintaining the DOP value.

As in the previous example part of the sucrose will be replaced with other sweeteners (glucose syrup and invert sugar). Since the MSNF value is being maintained the original lactose concentration, 6g, (11 x 0.545) will remain constant.

The solution is 6.5 g of sucrose, 6.2g of glucose syrup and 5g of invert sugar.

The DOP =6 x 0.16 + 6.5 x 1 + 6.2 x 0.5 + 5 x 1.3


The FPDF = 6 x 1+ 6.5 x 1 + 6.2 x 0.8 + 5 x 1.9

= 27

Further FPDF examples have been provided by Hull, (2010). Spreadsheets for calculating the relative sweetness and RFPD of ice cream mixescan be downloaded from this site.

Calculation of the initial freezing point depression of an ice cream or gelato mix and how to construct a freezing curve

More information on this important topic, examples of freezing curves and spreadsheets for calculating curves refer to the article on freezing point curves.


This article, and the article on the relative sweetness of ice cream, would not have been written without the prompting of Mr Lee Williams of Valenti’s Gelato-Artisan.

Lee Williams, an artisanal gelato manufacturer and consultant based in Cornwall, had studied gelato manufacture in Italy and hadseen the benefitsof the Potere Dolcificante (POD) and Potere Anti Congelante (PAC) methods in gelato manufacture. He contacted me to discuss how these continental methods could be used in the UK and Ireland.I hope thatthese articles will be of benefit to students and artisanal ice cream and gelatomakers.

Have you found this article useful?

If yes, consider visiting an advert or making a small donation to the website.This will avoid articles like this only being available through a paid subscription or on payment for a downloadable E-book.

Download Excel spreadsheets for calculating the freezing point depression curves of ice cream and gelato mixes.

Literature cited

Dempsey, P. G., McGorry, R. R., Cotnam, J. and Braun, T. W. (2000). Ergonomics investigation of retail ice cream operations. Appl. Ergon., 31(2):121—130.

Ebbing, Darrell D. (1990). General Chemistry, 3rd ed, Houghton Mifflin.

Goff, H. D. and Hartel, R. W. (2013). Ice Cream. 7th Edn. Springer: New York.

Hull, P. (2010). Glucose Syrups: Technology and Applications. Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, U.K.

Iversen, E.K. 1983. Scoopable ice cream. N. Eur. Dairy J. 49(5): 116-122.

Jaskula, F.J., Smith, D.E. and Larntz, K. (1993) Comparison of the predictive ability of ice cream freezing point depression equations. Milchwissenschaft.50, 26-30.

Jiménez-Flores, R., Klipfel, N. J. and Tobias, J. (2006). Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts. In “Dairy Science and Technology Handbook. Product Manufacturing”. Volume 2. (Ed: Y. H. Hui). John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, New Jersey.

Keeney, P. G., and M. Kroger. (1974). Frozen dairy products. In B. H. Webb, A. H. Johnson, and J. A. Alford (eds.), Fundamentals of Dairy Chemistry. AVI, Westport, CT.

Leighton, A. (1927). On the calculation of the freezing point of ice cream mixes and of quantities of ice separated during the freezing process. J. Dairy. Sci., 10, 300-308.

Marshall, R. T., Goff, H. D. and Hartel, R. W. (2003). Ice Cream. 6th Edn. Kluwer Academic: New York.

Smith, K.E. and Bradley, R.L. (1983). Effects of freezing point of carbohydrates commonly used in frozen desserts. J Dairy Science. 66, 2464-2467.

Van Slyke, L. L. and A. W. Bosworth (1915). Condition of casein and salts in milk. J. Biol. Chem., 20(2) 435-152.

How to cite this article

Mullan, W.M.A. (2013). [On-line]. Available from:

(Video) Gelato balancing app and professional ice cream calculator. From now on it will be easy! . Accessed: 25 November, 2022. First posted 13 May 2013. Modified: February 2014; August 2015; January 2017; January 2018; April 2018.


Why is my gelato so hard? ›

The high butterfat and lack of air in most good-quality ice creams make them very hard at zero degrees. You may find yourself having to uncomfortably twist your hand deep into the carton, and the scoop that you do manage to get out may be too "hard" to enjoy.

What ingredients affect ice cream hardness? ›

Ice cream hardness was not affected by the addition of low milk fat, anhydrous milk fat, very high melting milk fat and cream but emulsifiers had influence on hardness. Drier product with smoother texture and body was obtained with addition of emulsifier.

What is PAC in gelato? ›

If you are a nerd like me and have been doing your gelato-making homework, you will have often come across the acronyms PAC, AFP and/or FPDF. They stand for 'Potere Anti-Congelante' (the Italian for 'Anti-Freezing Power') and 'Freezing Point Depression Factor', respectively.

How do you lower the freezing point of ice cream? ›

Adding sugar to the milk lowered the freezing point to below that of the plain ice (32°F) and therefore will not freeze.

Why is my gelato too soft? ›

Gelato is too soft

Causes: too much sugars. What to do: rebalance the recipe with milk or cream and lower your sugar content.

Why isn't my homemade ice cream getting hard? ›

If your mixture is not a soft-serve texture but still liquid and doesn't appear to be thickening up after 30-45 minutes, you may have a problem. Your mixture may not be have been cold enough, or the bowl not chilled fully. If you are using a machine that needs ice and salt, you may need to add more ice and/or salt.

What makes ice cream scoop easier? ›

Get in hot water.

Dipping the scooper between each scoop warms up and moistens the ice cream just enough to prevent it from sticking.

Why is my homemade ice cream very hard? ›

If the ice cream is not churned fast enough, larger ice crystals can develop, causing the ice cream to become too hard when frozen. The faster it is churned the more air that is whipped into it, which will help it from freezing as hard.

How do you stabilize gelato? ›

For example, carob gum can make hand-made gelato thicker, as it absorbs the greatest amount of water and creates a structure that slows down melting. On the other hand, guar gum is a perfect stabiliser for absorbing air during gelato freezing.

What makes gelato stretchy? ›

Polymers make cornstarch a good thickener and cause gelatin to gel. “A lot of what we do when we cook is to do biochemistry on polymers,” Kirshenbaum says. The two unusual Turkish ice cream ingredients, salep and mastic, probably contribute to the ice cream's mysterious elasticity because they both contain polymers.

What is secret ingredient in gelato? ›

Step 2: Our Secret Ingredient (besides Love!)

Our gelato is set apart from the rest by the sugar we use. Allulose is a a natural, non-GMO sugar derived from fruits such as kiwis, figs, and raisins. Unlike other natural and synthetic sweeteners, allulose tastes and functions just like regular sugar.

What is the best temperature for ice cream in the freezer? ›

The optimum temperature is 0°F (-18°C) or colder. The temperature in the supermarket's freezer case should not be above 10°F (-12°C). If kept at a proper temperature, ice cream will be thoroughly frozen and will feel hard to the touch.

Does adding sugar to water lower the freezing point? ›

Sugar lowers the freezing point of water, which makes frozen desserts fair game for changes in freezing point. Most desserts freeze between 29.5 to 26.6 degrees F (-1.4 to -3.0 C) depending on the concentration of sugar.

Why do some ice cream freeze harder than others? ›

The softness of ice cream is going to depend on a variety of factors: Use of gums and other binding agents, amount of sugar, the amount of fat, and especially the amount of "overrun" (air) that is churned into it during the freezing process.

How long should gelato churn? ›

Churn mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions until it thickens, about 20-35 minutes. Pour gelato in freezer-safe container; freeze until set, about 3 hours.

Is gelato easier to scoop? ›

This warmer serving temperature means gelato is much easier to scoop. That's the story at a gelateria, anyway. Some store-bought gelati (lookin' at you, Talenti) are also easier to scoop than ice cream, and seem to soften up faster as well.

Is gelato harder to make than ice cream? ›

Both have similar base ingredients: water, fat (in the form of milk or cream) and sugar, which are mixed together and churned (moved around vigorously). Gelato has more milk than cream compared to ice cream and, in turn, has less fat. Making gelato involves churning the mix at a much slower speed than making ice cream.

How do you make gelato thicker? ›

Add extra egg yolks for a richer, thicker texture.

Egg yolks not only help make the ice cream thicker, but they also help reduce the amount of ice crystals that often form during freezing.

What is the correct weight for a scoop of gelato? ›

According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, a scoop of ice cream is regarded as one portion or approximately 2.5 oz.

How do you make ice cream harden? ›

Hardening your ice cream
  1. Place your ice cream mixture in a blast freezer for a few minutes before storing it in a display counter.
  2. Place your ice cream mixture in a blast freezer until it reaches a core temperature of -18°C before storing it in a freezer at -18°C.

How long does it take for ice cream to get hard? ›

Place the ice cream in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours to harden. Once the ice cream has hardened, remove from freezer and serve.

What happens if you churn ice cream too long? ›

This is a big "don't," as overmixing will cause the ice cream to turn, well, icy. "Ice cream's optimal texture doesn't happen in the machine—it happens in the freezer," says Perry.

What makes ice cream more Scoopable? ›

To create a firm and scoop-able ice cream, you need the water to freeze. For a smooth texture, you'll want to form the smallest possible ice crystals. Freezing the base as quickly as possible and breaking up the crystals while it's cooling will keep the ice cream smooth. That's where churning comes in.

Why does ice cream get harder to scoop? ›

Ice cream crystallisation occurs when the moisture in the air meets the frozen food. This moisture can then refreeze on the ice cream's surface, forming these telltale freezer burn crystals we've come to dread.

How do you make ice cream softer to scoop? ›

In Lebovitz's book, he states that adding just a bit of alcohol to your ice cream base results in a better texture when it's churned because alcohol doesn't freeze. The alcohol prevents some of the ice crystals from forming, which makes the ice cream softer and therefore more scoopable.

What gives gelato its texture? ›

Carob seed flour gives texture to gelatos, creams and sorbets; it also detoxifies the liver, lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar levels.

Why is my gelato gummy? ›

Gumminess is related to the rheology of the unfrozen portion of ice cream, which in turn is related to the nature and degree of water immobilization. Although water immobilization is important to control ice crystal growth, a point is reached where the unfrozen product becomes sticky and very cohesive, i.e., gummy.

What is the binding agent in gelato? ›

Both are natural, plant-based ingredients – sunflower lecithin improves texture and prolong shelf life, while guar gum acts as a thickener, ingredient stabiliser and binding agent to stop ingredients from separating.

Is gelato soft or hard? ›

Gelato: Dense and Intense

Gelato is served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, so its texture stays silkier and softer. Because it has a lower percentage of fat than ice cream, the main flavor ingredient really shines through.

What should the texture of gelato be? ›

Gelato is churned at a lower speed and freezes more slowly than ice cream which gives it a more dense and creamier texture. Ice Cream is mixed quickly to incorporate more air bubbles giving it a light, fluffy texture.

Should gelato be stretchy? ›

Gelato hails from Italy and has a soft, elastic texture and slow-to-melt milkiness.

Do you need eggs in gelato? ›

Authentic gelato uses more milk and less cream than ice cream and generally doesn't use egg yolks, which are a common ingredient in ice cream.

What does milk powder do in gelato? ›

Skim milk powder is a key component of your gelato base because of the concentration of proteins and its power to absorb free water.

What makes gelato creamy? ›

Air makes it soft and fluffy. Since gelato has less butterfat, the mixture is light to begin with. So it only needs 20 to 30 percent air as it thickens and freezes. That keeps the product dense — and therefore creamy, Morano explains.

Why is everything in my freezer frozen except the ice cream? ›

So, why is the freezer not keeping the ice cream frozen? Well, ice cream is less dense than other frozen foods, so melted ice cream usually means your freezer either has a minor cooling issue or it is an indication that a freezer component is failing and needs to be repaired or replaced.

Does gelato go in the fridge or freezer? ›

Keep your gelato or ice cream in your freezer at a steady temperature at all time, the colder the temperature the longer it will last. Also, goes without saying, that you must transport your gelato from the shop to your freezer in the coldest & fastest way possible!

What temperature should you scoop ice cream? ›

Need the perfect scoop? The perfect temperature for scooping ice cream is between 6 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. But just make sure not to keep it at this temperature for too long or it will melt!

Does adding salt to water lower the freezing point? ›

Freezing point depression occurs when the freezing point of the liquid is lowered by addition of solute. Was proved correct after experimentation If the salt concentration is increased, then the freezing point of the water will decrease more.

What will freeze first water or water with sugar? ›

If we put salt or sugar in water it will freeze faster than a plain cup of water. Independent Variable- The water was changed by adding different substances.

Why does salt lower freezing point more than sugar? ›

The salt solute is able to depress the freezing point more than the sugar solute because the salt is ionically bonded while the sugar solute is covalently bonded. Because salt is ionically bonded, its ions are able to fully dissociate in solution.

Why is my ice cream icy and not creamy? ›

My ice cream is icy. This is probably the most common problem with home made ice cream. And it's caused by large ice crystals forming in the mixture as it freezes. Large ice crystals are usually the result of either too much water in the mix or excessively long freezing time.

Can too much sugar cause ice cream not to freeze? ›

Too much sugar in a recipe can prevent your ice cream from freezing, and too little sugar in ice cream can make it hard. Air keeps ice cream soft and scoopable.

What makes ice cream creamy and not icy? ›

As you churn ice cream, individual water molecules turn into ice-crystal seeds — which is what makes cream freeze. The higher the fat content, the more time you have to churn before these ice crystals congregate, resulting in creamier final texture.

How do you soften gelato? ›

To soften in the refrigerator, transfer ice cream from the freezer to the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before using. Or let it stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Hard ice cream can also be softened in the microwave at 30% power for about 30 seconds.

How do you make gelato smooth? ›

As we know, sugar not only imparts sweetness to ice cream. It also contributes to its softness by reducing the freezing point of the water in the mixture. So if we increase the amount of sugar in the recipe, we'll also increase the amount of liquid that isn't frozen, which will keep the ice cream softer.

Can you over churn gelato? ›

Ice crystals begin to form during the churning process. This is what gives ice cream its texture. However, if you churn for too long, the crystals continue to get bigger and can give your ice cream an icy texture. Ice cream will also get larger ice crystals the longer it is stored in the freezer.

What consistency should gelato be? ›

High quality gelato should have a spreadable consistency, unlike the much harder, more brittle ice cream. Neither gelato nor sorbetto should ever have visible or palpable ice crystals.

Can gelato be soft serve? ›

Soft-serve gelato is an evolution of Italian-style gelato, reworked in a softer key, with a creamy and at the same time lighter flavour. Soft-serve has been very successful over the years, not only in the United States, but also in other countries around the world.

Why is gelato better than ice cream? ›

Gelato typically offers fewer calories, less sugar and lower fat content per serving than ice cream. The typical 3.5 oz. serving of vanilla gelato contains 90 calories and 3 grams of fat, compared to 125 calories and 7 grams of fat in the average vanilla ice cream.

Why is my homemade ice cream so hard? ›

If the ice cream is not churned fast enough, larger ice crystals can develop, causing the ice cream to become too hard when frozen. The faster it is churned the more air that is whipped into it, which will help it from freezing as hard.

How do you make homemade ice cream harder? ›

So to try and prevent your ice creams melting so quickly there are several things you can try:
  1. increase the fat content.
  2. add extra solids in the form of skimmed milk powder (SMP)
  3. add more eggs.
  4. use other stabilizers.

How do you thicken gelato? ›

There are some tricks you can use if you want your ice cream to be thicker. First, cornstarch. Cornstarch binds the water molecules and thickens the mixture creating softer and more velvety texture. That's why it is very important, especially in no churn ice cream recipes.


1. Ice Cream Stabilizers? The Secret to a Perfect Homemade Ice Cream | WTF - Ep. 106
(Kitchen Alchemy from Modernist Pantry)
2. Secrets To The BEST KETO ICE CREAM Recipe: Creamy, Sweet, & Scoopable!
(Wholesome Yum)
3. Professional Baker Teaches You How To Make GELATO!
(Oh Yum with Anna Olson)
4. Say Goodbye to Ice Crystals and Hello to Creamy Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream!
(The Salted Pepper)
6. The Gelato Secret of Kings Cross
(Graeme Thomas)

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