History of Dairy Products: Ice Cream

About the dairy product ice cream, information about how it is made and what artificial elements go in it, recipe to make your own.


The words "ice cream" conjure up a picture of a delicious frozen concoction of cream, milk, eggs, fresh fruit, and sugar. And so it is, if you make it yourself or buy it in a reputable health food store. But let's take a look at what you may get if you buy some ordinary ice cream, perhaps strawberry:

--The dairy products in ice cream may range from cream and milk to sweetened condensed milk to dried cheese whey. (Cheese whey? An excellent food supplement, but in ice cream?)

--50% air, beaten into ice cream with the help of cheap thickeners.

--Diethyl glycol, a chemical used as an emulsifier. It is also used in antifreeze and in paint remover, and has caused bladder stones and tumors in experimental animals.

--Propylene glycol alginate, used in germicides and in paint remover. Also used as a stabilizer in ice cream, although it was rejected for this purpose in 1942. It was OK'd for use in 1960.

--Benzyl acetate, if your ice cream is artificially flavored. This chemical is also used as a nitrate solvent.

This list gives only a small indication of the hundreds of artificial flavors, colors, smoothers, improvers, and other chemicals added to ordinary ice cream. At the moment, the law requires that on the ice cream carton, only the name (ice cream) and the flavor be printed. If the latter is artificial, this must be stated.

Even if you don't have an ice cream maker, you can still make your own, and freeze it in trays in the freezer part of the refrigerator. It takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours; during this time turn it in the tray, sides to middle, once or twice. Ice cream is often made in European homes this way. Of course, the method is not completely satisfactory; the ice cream can't expand and the texture isn't the same. But isn't it better than the unappetizing mass of frozen chemicals that so often passes for ice cream today?

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