22 April 2015

Controlling colloidal forces for healthier ice cream

Triglyceride crystals from saturated fat are essential for ice cream structure. However, owing to the negative health effects of saturated fat, there is a strong motivation to develop technologies that substitute saturated fat with unsaturated fat in ice creams.

Scientific knowledge of colloidal systems has advanced in recent years, which constitutes a solid base for the technological advancement of foods.

The project’s purpose is to develop sufficient technology and knowledge about interactions of ingredients to substitute a considerable part of saturated fat in ice cream with unsaturated fat without sacrificing product quality or stability.

The generated knowledge and experience are likely to be used for making new versions of whippable cream and dessert mousses, which are traditionally rich in saturated fat.

Scientific idea and hypothesis

Fat globules form supramolecular aggregates that are responsible for the texture, mouthfeel and stability of ice cream. These distinct functional properties of fat depend on the use of mainly saturated fat of milk or vegetable origin.

The functionality of traditional ice creams is based on the ability of fat globules to undergo partial coalescence and thereby to take part in the structure formation and stabilisation of incorporated air bubbles. 

Substituting saturated fat with unsaturated fat usually results in the absence of a fat network – and, in the worst case, in complete phase separation.

The project hypothesises that loss of balance between the attraction and repulsion of traditional ice cream’s fat droplets can be compensated by modifying both the interior of the fat droplets as well as their surfaces.

Original title: Ice cream with reduced amount of saturated fat – a colloidal chemical approach

Start date: May 2014

End date: April 2017

Grant donor: Innovation Fund Denmark

FOOD grant: DKK 1,598,000

Total budget: DKK 3,196,000