Ice Cream Mixes are sweetened dairy mixtures used to make traditional churned or soft-serve ice cream or frozen yogurt. The ice cream mixes are used on-site to produce packaged ice cream and ice cream desserts, or sold as a mixture to be frozen and dispensed at restaurants and shops as frozen desserts.
Ice cream mixes start as a mixture of fluid milk, cream, sweeteners, milk solids, emulsifiers, egg yolks and other ingredients. This mixture is pasteurized and homogenized to ensure product safety and proper consistency. Homogenization gives the product a smoother and softer mouth feel and evenly distributes the various ingredients. Depending on the recipe, flavors or other ingredients might be added at this time. If the mix is to be used immediately to make ice cream, it is cooled for a period to prepare the water for freezing, then the mixture is frozen in a batch or continuous ice cream freezer. Berries, nuts, chocolate and other flavors are then added and the final product is package for sale.
The ingredients for producing ice cream are very expensive. Small changes in the recipe can change the taste and texture of the final frozen product. Testing the incoming ingredients as well as the initial mixture ensures that quality specifications are met before the pasteurization, homogenization and freezing steps. The mixture can be tested for fat and solids, ensuring the the proper proportions of milk, cream and solids are included. Accurate and timely analysis of the mixture will optimize the use of the expensive ingredients and minimize rework and discard, maximizing profits for the ice cream mix producer.