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Note! To use this calculator you must first have paid for a subscription. The subscription FAQs including the access to free resources can be found here. Currently there are 5-payment options,1 day's use for £5, 5-day's use for £15, 40-day's use for £40.00, 80-day's access for £60 and 365 day's access for £99 (prices at the 25nd November, 2019). The instructions for calculator use are given here. Note that once access has been granted users have free access to a range of calculators, a downloadable Excel spreadsheet for calculating the freezing point depression of ice cream and gelato mixes, ice cream and gelato mix specifications and other resources that are only available to subscribers.

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 Help icon 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.

Help icon Fat %* MSNF %* Stabiliser %* Emulsifier %* Egg-yolk %*
Sweetener, %* CSS %*
Target values:

Ingredient solids, %

(Adjust if required)

Fat % MSNF % Stabiliser % Emulsifier, % Egg-yolk % Sweetener % CSS %

Select ingredients one at a time from drop down list above, adjust values if necessary, and press Add Ingredient button above.

Are you a new user? You can purchase a subscription to use this calculator.

Access to free resources
Subscription users have exclusive access to resources, including some downloads that normally require payment. A list of resources available in July 2016 are given below:

Free resources available to subscription calculator users

Items 2 to 6 are calculators. The 8% fat gelato mix produces ice cream that tastes as though it contains 10-12% butter fat and according to clients may have won awards at gelato and ice cream competitions.

How to cite this article

Mullan, W.M.A. (2008). Updated July 2016. [On-line] UK: Available: Accessed:

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