THE DAIRY SCIENCE AND FOOD TECHNOLOGY ICE CREAM MIX CALCULATOR-SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
Note! To use this calculator you must first have paid for a subscription. The subscription FAQs can be found here. Currently there are 4-payment options, 3-days use for £9.99, 40-days use for £ 14.99, 80-days access for £22 and 365 day's access for £50 (prices at the 12/11/2012). The instructions for calculator use are given here.
The objective in calculating ice cream mixes is to turn a formula into a recipe based on the intended ingredients and the mass or volume of mix required. What do I mean by ingredients? Fat can be supplied by several sources including whole milk, cream and butter. Milk solids not fat (MSNF) can also be supplied by a number of ingredients including whole milk, skim milk, skim milk powder, cream, and various types of concentrated milks e.g. condensed milk. Some ingredients may also supply both fat and MSNF. There are also options concerning the sweetener to use. Using the calculator you can determine the quantities of a range of ingredients required to meet your formula or specification and much more.
The recipe is then processed to obtain ice cream for distribution and sale. In the UK and in North America the formula is given as percentages of fat, milk solids-not-fat (MSNF), sugar, stabilisers-(stabilizers in the US) and emulsifiers. Since several ingredients may be available to supply these components e.g. MSNF available ingredients are selected on the basis of quality and cost.
However, before undertaking mix calculations technologists should ensure that the quantities of ingredients calculated will give a balanced mix. This concept is explained in more detail in the article on ice cream e.g. an ice cream mix containing 8% fat must be balanced with respect to sugar and MSNF. If this mix was produced using a vertical freezer, the mix should contain a concentration of 13% sugar. Assuming 1.25% emulsifier/stabiliser was used then the MSNF required can be calculated as 11.1%. Ice cream mixes produced using cows' or goats' milk and no concentrated source of MSNF e.g. skim milk powder cannot be balanced for MSNF in the conventional commercial sense.
While the calculator is fairly simple to use a help facility, please see the below, and a more detailed user guide including annotated screen shots ( added on the 30 May 2011) have been provided. Check the total solids of the ingredients given by the software. In some calculations e.g. with "egg preparations" the result will give a weight adjusted to give 100% solids. This may not be required and, if so, the % solids of say the liquid egg preparation should be be adjusted to 100%. Further information on ice cream, and other ice cream related calculators is available in the article on ice cream and in the references provided in the article.
The calculator cannot perform mathematically impossible calculations! There is a limit to the number of MSNF and fat sources that the calculator is permitted to process. If these limits are exceeded you will get an error message. Similarly I have made it impossible to undertake some obviously wrong calculations. But be aware of the maxims concerning data quality inputs and what comes out!
During the development of the calculator I produced 11 Excel spreadsheets that covered many of the ice-cream formulation challenges that commercial manufacturers may encounter. Following feedback from site users these are now available for downloading.
How to cite this article
Mullan, W.M.A. (2008) [On-line] UK: Available: Accessed: