Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's Really in Ice Cream

Do You Know What's in Your Ice Cream?
Recently, I was in my local mainstream grocery store, picking up the very few items that I feel comfortable purchasing there, and walked over to the frozen section to check out the ice cream options as my son had been asking for ice cream. I picked up one, put it back, grabbed another brand, put it back, one after the other, reading the ingredients listed on the packaging. I was amazed and completely grossed out by what I read on the labels. THIS is what food manufacturers are calling Ice Cream??? And there is an entire aisle, as there is in every grocery store chain, devoted to this chemically-laced Frankenfood. I admit that there was a time when I would have put whatever brand was on sale into my cart and taken it home. But as I have become more aware of EXACTLY what is in our food, I am more and more baffled as to why anyone is purchasing these foods...am I the only one who actually reads the labels??? In case I am, let me share with you what is in grocery store ice cream...

Here is the ingredient list for Breyer's Original Chocolate Chip Chookie Dough Ice Cream: Milk, Cream, Sugar, Whey, Natural Tara Gum, Natural Flavor, Annatto (Color). Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pieces: Wheat Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Palm Oil, Water, Soybean Oil, Powdered Sugar (Sugar, Cornstarch), Chocolate Liquor, Salt, Cocoa Butter, Natural Flavor (Milk), Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda. Chocolate Flavored Chips: Sugar, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract.

Here is the ingredient list for Publix's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Milk, Cream, Sugar, Cookie Dough Pieces (Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar, Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin)Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils)Water, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin and Salt) Corn Syrup, Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Coconut Oil, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Butter Oil, Lecithin, Vanilla) Cookie Dough Flavor (Brown Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural FlavorsMolasses and Salt) Stabilizer (Carob Bean Gum, Guar Gum) Natural Flavor and Annatto Color.

Here is the ingredient list for Edy's Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Dairy Dessert: Skim Milk, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough [Wheat, Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Margarine (Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Annatto Color, Turmeric Color, Vitamin A Palmitate, Whey) Soybean Oil, Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract) Eggs, Water, Corn Starch, Molasses, Soy Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Salt]Cream, Semi-Sweet Chocolate [Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin (Artificial Flavor) Natural FlavorSugar, Dextrose, Corn Syrup, Polydextrose, Corn Starch, MalodextrinMono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gel, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Natural FlavorSorbitol, Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Annatto Color.

Here is the ingredient list for Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Flavored Ice Cream (no Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Available): Milk, Cream, Sugar, Skim Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Natural and Artificial Vanilla FlavorCellulose Gum, Vegetable Gums (Guar, Carrageenan, Carob Bean)Salt, Annatto Color.

Here is the ingredient list for Blue Bunny Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Original Ice Cream: Milk, Cream, Sugar, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough {Bleached FlourSugar, Vegetable Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oils)Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla and Natural FlavoringWater, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Bicarbonate, Salt, Artificial FlavorButtermilk, Whey, Corn Syrup, Chocolate Chips (Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Dextrose, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin) Guar Gum, Mono & Diglycerides, Natural Flavors, Artificial FlavorsSodium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Citrate, Carrageenan, Polysorbate 80, Brown Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Molasses, Salt.

Here is the ingredient list for Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Cream, Skim Milk, Liquid Sugar, Water, Unbleached Wheat Flour, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Egg Yolks, Butter, Eggs, Expeller Pressed Soybean Oil, Chocolate Liquor, Coconut Oil, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali)Vanilla Powder, Milkfat, Soya Lecithin, Carrageenan.

Here is the ingredient list for Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Cream, Skim Milk, Cookie Dough (Flour, Sugar, Butter, Coconut Oil, Brown Sugar, Corn Oil, Water, Fructose, Corn Syrup Solids, Salt, Vanilla, Baking Soda) Sugar, Chocolaty Chips (Sugar, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Cocoa, Butter Oil, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla) Egg Yolks, Natural Vanilla. 

Here is the ingredient list for Mayfield Select Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream: Milkfat and Nonfat Milk, Cookie Dough and Chips {Cookie Dough [Flour(Bleach White), Sugar, Brown Sugar (Sugar, Molasses) Margarine (Liquid and Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Water, Salt, Whey Solids, Mono and Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Beta Carotene (Color)Vitamin A Palmitate)Water, Vanilla, Salt, Baking Soda] Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Artificial Flavoring] Sugar, Corn Syrup, Brown Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sweetcream Buttermilk, Whey, contains Less than 2% of Molasses, Guar Gum, Mono and Diglycerides, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 80, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Natural and Artificial FlavorsAnnatto (Color), Salt.

Here is the ingredient list for Mayfield Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Select Ice Cream: Milk, Cream, Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Cookie Dough {Unenriched Flour, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin]Water, Natural Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Sodium Bicarbonate) Chocolate Chips [Sugar, Chocolate, Coconut Oil, Soy Lecithin (an Emulsifier)Vanilla Extract, Salt] Vanilla Extract, Brown Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Natural Flavors, Molasses, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Salt, Carrageenan, Annatto (Color).

Creamy, Healthier Ice Cream - What's the Catch?
On a quest to create an ice cream that provides full-fat and creamy flavor while at the same time providing the virtues of a bowl of steamed vegetables, the ice cream industry has probed the depths of the Arctic Ocean. So, for those people who struggle with temptation in the freezer section, new industrial processes have provided a way for manfacturers to produce very creamy, dense, reduced-fat ice creams with fewer additives.

What is this "miracle" probed from the depths of the Arctic Ocean, you ask? A protein cloned from the blood of an Arctic Ocean fish, the ocean pout. But, don't be alarmed, no fish will be mined - the manufacturers are not going to go to the cost of extracting this protein from the fish - a process that Unilever describes as "not sustainable or economically feasible". Instead, the compaay has developed a process for making it - altering the genetic structure of a strain of baker's yeast so that it produces the protein during fermentation. This ingredient, called an ice-structuring protein, makes the ice cream creamier by preventing ice crystals from growing. Ice Cream manufacturers using this genetically engineered protein include: Dreyer's/Edy's (Slow Churned), Breyers (Light Double Churned) and Haagen-Dazs (Light).

Almost all commercial ice creams contain industrial ingredients that mimic the effects of butterfat and egg yolks: some are natural (although still entirely unneeded), like carrageenan, extracted from algae plentiful in the Irish Sea; others are synthetic, like monoglycerides and diglycerides. Personally, I don't know what's wrong with making ice cream the old-fashioned way - cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract. And if you want to know what's really in that carton, take it out of the freezer and set it in your sink overnight. Once thawed, all of the synthetics, gum, chemicals and junk will be left in the carton for you to see.

Needless to say, I did not purchase any ice cream from that grocery store. I did, however, buy some heavy cream to make my own.

The NY Times.com

This post is linked at Real Food Wednesday http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2011/08/real-food-wednesday-8312011.htmlutm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed3A+kellythekitchenkop+%28Kelly+the+Kitchen+Kop%29


  1. ICK! I have a comment/question. Why is the alkali that is used to process the cocoa bad?


  2. Hi AnnMarie!

    To be honest, there really isn't anything technically "wrong" with using an alkali to process the cocoa, but there really is no need for it either.

    Alkali neutralizes the acidity in cocoa and results in a milder taste and a darker color, as well as being sweeter and allowing it to be more easily mixed with liquids. This treatment is called Dutch processing because it was developed by a Dutch chocolatier, Coenraad Johannes van Houten.

    The downside - and there alwys seems to be one in processing - is that it reduces the amount of natural flavonols, or antioxidants, in the cocoa powder. One of the great reasons to eat chocolate.

  3. Aha! Being a food science geek and a long-time subscriber to Cook's Illustrated, it is so nice to see a fellow geek! I stopped over from Real Food Wednesday and I will be back,

  4. Hello Ubermom! Welcome! Thanks for the love! I look forward to your comments!

  5. Great post. And since it is summer I have been craving ice cream. I actually blogged about one of my ice cream experiences not that long ago. You can check it out here. http://www.suzyhomemaker.net/2011/08/power-of-marketing-ice-cream.html

    At least there are a few out there with less ingredients!

  6. Also, not listed nor does it have to be is antifreeze (to keep it scoopable) and also from what I heard from Jamie Oliver is the following disgusting ingredients used for flavoring:
    Beaver Anal Glands and some for of secretions from female dogs that are in heat! This was on his show and also a segment on David Lettemen show. He said that one of those ingredients is used in Raspberry Flavored ice cream.
    I would like to know the scientist that determined these would actually flavor ice cream!

  7. Yikes! Thanks for further solidifying why I will never eat (or let my son eat) CAFO ice cream ever again! Guess that includes the Baskin Robbins and the Dairy Queens of the world too, huh?