At the maiden World of Ice Cream exhibition organized at International Trade Expo Centre, Noida, from 6-9 March, IndiFoodBev’s team got an opportunity to meet and learn about the processes and technology involved in the making of ice cream. The event brought together a wide range of solution providers in ice cream production under one roof.

The name World of Ice Cream might lead one to imagine something from the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Upon entering, IndiFoodBev discovered that there’s not one Willy Wonka here, but several. Rectifying that mental image, we told ourselves that it was an exhibition of the ice cream industry, not just ice cream.

Ice Cream
Diamond displayed ice cream making machine lines at the show. Photo IFB

For several participants, the exhibition became a point of recognition of the ice cream industry’s growth. The list of attendees included ice cream makers, machinery manufacturers, cold chain solution providers, packaging providers, and makers of wafer cones, chocolates, and ice cream toppings. And there was a lot to learn about the process of making the sweet dessert.

Machine providers Sigma Sales, Anand, Diamond Engineering Works, and Pranam ji Engineering Works, ice cream makers Kathiyawada and Vadilal, and Tata Voltas, a cold chain specialist, were among the leading names.

The first step in making ice cream involves mixing the main ingredients such as milk, cream, sugar, stabilizers, emulsifiers, flavorings, and any additional ingredients such as fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips. The mixture is usually heated to dissolve the sugar and any other solid ingredients. After mixing, the liquid mixture undergoes pasteurization to kill any harmful bacteria present in the ingredients by it to a specific temperature for a set period, then quickly cooling it down.

Ice Cream
Topping and ingredients were also displayed. Photo IFB

The mixture, after pasteurization, is then homogenized to break down the fat molecules into smaller, more uniform sizes. This helps create a smoother texture in the finished ice cream. Some manufacturers choose to let the mixture age for several hours or overnight — allowing the flavors to blend better. The mixture is cooled and then frozen in a batch freezer or continuous freezer. During this process, air is incorporated into the mixture to give the ice cream its light, airy texture.

If the ice cream contains any additional ingredients such as chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit pieces, they are added during or after the freezing process,” said Anand Kumar, area sales manager, Goldsmith food products, a chocolate provider. “One of the fun aspects of making ice cream is experimenting with different flavors and mix-ins. Consumers enjoy if there’s something new to try in the market. Innovation is something the ice cream manufacturing industry constantly focuses upon.”

Once the ice cream is frozen to the desired consistency, it is transferred to packaging containers. These containers can vary in size and shape, from pints and quarts for retail sale to larger containers for food service or industrial use. Some ice cream may go through a hardening process, where it is stored at very low temperatures to achieve a firmer texture before distribution.

Ice Cream
Chocolate providers form a major chunk of the ice cream making industry. Photo IFB

According to a representative from Vadilal, “The packaged ice cream is stored in freezers at the manufacturing facility or distribution centers before being shipped to retailers or customers. Throughout the manufacturing process, quality control measures are taken to ensure that the ice cream meets certain standards for flavor, texture, and safety.”

There are also no-churn methods that do not require an ice cream maker. These typically involve mixing whipped cream with condensed milk and flavorings, then freezing until ready to eat. While churned ice cream has better taste and texture, no-churn ice cream can be done easily at home. Contrary to YouTube DIYs, making ice cream does require some time and patience as there are several steps involved, including chilling the mixture, churning it, and freezing it until it is firm enough to consume.


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