My local farm market makes their own ice cream sandwiches using chocolate cookies they make and sandwich soft serve ice cream in the center. Last summer I discovered them for the first time and I shamelessly say every time I passed by, I would go in to buy one(or two…or…three), eat one right away and keep the rest for later.
Since I had been on my elimination diet this summer and adding foods back to my diet, I stopped yesterday and bought two. I eagerly unwrapped the one when I got into the car, anticipating the yumminess of before…one bite and I knew something was wrong. It was no longer that yummy taste of last summer…in fact, after just one taste, I no longer wanted anything to do with it. How can that be?
When I got home, I decided to look up what exactly is in soft serve ice cream…and when I did, I realized why I no longer could tolerate it.
Besides the milk and the sugar, according to National Post, the other ingredients are: ”
Corn syrup To make corn syrup enzymes are added to corn starch, breaking it down into a gooey mixture of glucose, dextrose and maltose. All those -oses are mainly used to thicken the cone, but they also soften texture, add volume, stop crystallization and enhance flavour.
Whey Also known as milk plasma, whey is the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained.
Mono- and diglycerides These emulsifiers help mix ingredients that would not otherwise blend well. They consist of a fatty acid chain — or two, in the case of diglycerides — which is covalently bonded to a glycerol molecule through an ester linkage. You were paying attention in chemistry class, right?
Artificial flavours ’Nuff said.
Guar gum Also called guaran, this is the ground endosperm of guar beans. Typically produced in powder form, manufacturers like it because it’s so cheap — it has almost eight-times the water-thickening potency of cornstarch so only a small amount is needed to create sufficient viscosity. It can be used as an emulsifier, as it prevents oil droplets from coalescing, or as a stabilizer because it stops solids from settling.
Calcium sulfate A common lab and industrial chemical, calcium sulfate is used as a desiccant and a coagulant (in other words, to dry and to clot). In its unrefined state, it’s a translucent white rock sourced from gypsum and anhydrite. Partially dehydrated gypsum is also known as plaster, which is great for repairing drywall or making casts. The commercial sources of calcium sulfate may be either animal-derived (from cow or pig), vegetable-derived or synthetically manufactured.
Cellulose gum One of the most common thickening agents used by the processed-food industry due to its versatility and efficiency, cellulose gum comes from natural cellulose strains such as the lints from cotton seed. Its main functions include adding mouthfeel and texture, stabilizing proteins, retaining moisture and forming oil-resistant films. Fun fact: It’s also part of many non-food products, such as K-Y Jelly, toothpaste, laxatives, diet pills and paint!
Polysorbates 65 and 80 These are emulsifying agents, often used in soft serve to prevent milk proteins from completely coating the fat droplets. This allows them to join together in chains and nets, which locks air in the mixture and provides a firmer texture. Polysorbate 80, a viscous, water-soluble yellow liquid, has been linked in numerous studies to infertility in mice.
Carrageenan A naturally occurring family of carbohydrates extracted from red seaweed. From this source, manufacturers develop different blends of carrageenan for specific gelling, thickening and stabilizing properties. This is also found in chocolate milk, which is why it tastes similarly — and eerily — smooth.
Magnesium hydroxide An inorganic compound, magnesium hydroxide is a common component of antacids and laxatives that interferes with the absorption of folic acid and iron. In addition, it can be used as a deodorant, a whitener in bleaching solutions and it even has smoke-suppressing and fire-retarding properties!
NOTE: This is nothing compared to the dips and toppings. If you opted for, say, a soft-serve ice cream with strawberry syrup, you’d have to contend with these ingredients: High fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, E330 citric acid, E405 propylene glycol alginate, E412 guar gum, E413 tragacanth, E414 acacia, E415 xanthan gum, modified corn starch, E296 malic acid, E211 sodium benzoate & E202 potassium sorbate, artificial flavours, E129 FD&C Red
No. 40, E133 FD&C Blue No. 1. When there are more numbers than letters in the ingredients, it can’t be good.”
I am continually amazed with what is in our food supply…now it looks like I need to buy a small ice cream maker. I told my husband this latest development and he just rolled his eyes…he hasen’t changed his diet at all and thinks I have totally gone insane. But, I continue to clean up my diet and read the ingredients.
til next time…Eva