It is national Ice Cream Day! While many of us love an ice cream in the warm weather it actually poses a lot of hidden dangers if it isn’t frozen and stored correctly. Here are just a few facts to keep you safe.
Ice cream is a balance of fat, sugar, air, and water, the origins of ice cream date back thousands of years and there is evidence that frozen treats like ice cream have been enjoyed by many cultures throughout history. Today ice cream is a famous and beloved treat throughout the world, that is enjoyed in multiple flavours and forms. But to truly enjoy ice cream at its best, it is crucial to ensure that you are storing it correctly and at the right temperatures.
The optimal temperature for storing ice cream is -18°C, this temperature ensures that the ice cream remains frozen and retains its desired texture and consistency. It helps prevent the formation of ice crystals which can alter the flavour of this cold dessert. The flavour is best if the ice cream is never given the chance to melt and refreeze, as this causes excessive ice crystal formation.
Never store ice cream in your freezer door, each time the door opens the freezer is prone to temperature fluctuations, and the ice cream may experience refreezing. Instead store ice cream towards the back of your freezer and avoiding opening the door for long periods of time, this ensures the temperature remains consistent and your ice cream will remain intact.
If you store items in the same freezer with a strong smell, keep these away from your ice cream and even consider covering your tub with additional packaging so that your frozen treat doesn’t absorb any unwanted odours altering its delectable flavour.
It is also incredibly important to keep your container fully sealed to help avoid freezer burn, this occurs when air reaches the food, which causes moisture loss, affecting both the texture and flavour of the ice cream.
TOP TIP: When you buy ice cream from the supermarket, make sure it is the last thing you pick up, and get it home and in the freezer as quickly as possible. If your ice cream is the first thing you get on your trip, it will melt and then freeze whilst in the freezer before you get the chance to enjoy it.
Another important aspect to ice cream is the safe serving. The optimal temperature to serve ice cream is between -10°C and -12°C. At this temperature the ice cream is smooth enough to be easily scooped but isn’t too soft. At this temperature it is cold enough to maintain its texture and not become too runny. After serving your ice cream, it is important to put the tub back into the freezer straight away as to avoid the refreezing process occurring.
To conclude, if ice cream is stored at temperatures above the recommended range, the product can start to break down and separate, causing it to thaw and melt. When ice cream melts and is refrozen, it will refreeze into crunchy ice crystals, and these will attract more ice crystals to form. Alternatively, if your ice cream is stored at temperatures below the recommended range, it can become excessively hard and difficult to scoop. Amreen Bashir, PhD says “Ice cream melts fairly rapidly at room temperature and the milky, sugary, liquid concoction is a perfect petri dish for bacteria like Listeria.”
Enjoy your favourite ice cream treats safely and if you don’t think your commercial freezers are reaching -18°C don’t hesitate to give us a call.