Formulating High-Protein Ice Cream-Part 2

Originally Published: June 13, 2021
Last Updated: November 29, 2021
Formulating High-Protein Ice Cream

The intricacies of developing high protein ice cream were described In Part 1 of the post summarizing the webinar “Formulating Excellent Quality, High-Protein Ice Cream.”  Here in Formulating High-Protein Ice Cream – Part 2, the emphasis is placed on ways in which Idaho Milk Products’ functional milk protein concentrate (MPC) (Idaplus 1085) optimizes high protein ice cream. Webinar presenters included Kumar Tammineedi, Senior R&D Scientist, Idaho Milk Products; Venkat Sunkesula, Ph.D., Associate Director of Research & Technical Services, Idaho Milk Products. Joe Marshall, Food Scientist, Socius Ingredients, presented information in Part 1.

When used in ice cream, MPCs should come from fresh milk; have optimal solubility; retain solubility during transportation and storage; have fast dispersion and hydration rates; form stable emulsions; have optimal foam and overrun stability; and excellent water-holding capacity, noted Sunkesula. Solubility, for instance, is assessed via the solubility index (ADPI method), which measures the insoluble material in protein dispersions. A low solubility score is ideal in a highly functional MPC, indicating less risk of grittiness, better dissolving capabilities and reduced energy in processing. “Faster dispersion and hydration save both time and money,” he added.

Better foam overrun and stability help in retaining structural stability of ice cream during storage. Water-holding capacity also provides structural integrity and helps control ice crystal growth. Optimal flavor profile in an MPC should have desirable attributes such as sweet aromatic and cooked milky notes; absent of undesirable flavors including grassy/hay, animal and cardboard and that possess a strong aftertaste and aroma intensity, Sunkesula noted.

“Choosing a more functional protein is key to formulating excellent quality high-protein low fat ice cream,” said Tammineedi. “One of the main complaints with high protein ice creams is chalky mouthfeel. This is caused by insufficient hydration and solubilization of proteins,” he added.

“Milk proteins at Idaho Milk Products are produced in a closed-loop, temperature-controlled process using cold-process nanofiltration technology,” explained Sunkesula. “This process technology “makes a big difference in adding a lot of functionality to proteins, as they won’t denature,” he added.

IdaPlus 1085 is a reduced-calcium functional protein developed for high-protein ice cream applications. “IdaPlus 1085 far exceeds that of regular MPC/MPI for functionality,” said Tammineedi, who further explained the basis for calcium reduced MPC’s improved functionality in a high protein system as follows:

Casein micelles are made of small sub-micelles, which contain tightly bound calcium phosphate inside them. Weakly bound calcium micelles are located between the sub-micelles. Partial removal of the weakly bound calcium phosphate slightly increases the volume of the casein micelle, thereby changing its properties.

Several external studies showed IdaPlus 1085’s superior performance in dispersion and hydration; emulsion capacity and stability; foam overrun and stability; water-holding capacity; and sensory characteristics, noted Tammineedi. These functionalities not only produce better-quality, high-protein ice creams but can save energy costs and free up capacity for higher throughput, he added.

In a study at the University of Guelph, heat shock testing was conducted where the temperature was cycled at 12hr intervals for 14 days, IdaPlus 1085 had a lower viscosity than regular MPC after 3 and 6 days of storage. The IdaPlus samples also had lower meltdown rates than regular MPI after 140 minutes. An informal sensory panel described regular MPC samples that were heat shocked as having unpleasant, strong flavors of skim milk powders and an icy, course and cold texture. IdaPlus samples were described as having more pleasant, creamier and less icy texture. When compared to a control—an MPC that was not heat shocked—IdaPlus performed better, Tammineedi noted. In addition, an internal study at Idaho Milk Products on high-protein ice cream made with non-nutritive sweeteners (e.g., inulin, erythritol, vegetable glycerin) and IdaPlus 1085 at an overrun of 97.7% exhibited minimal shrinkage after 12 weeks.

Tammineedi concluded as he described functionalities necessary to produce premium quality, high-protein ice: “fast solubilization and hydration; emulsification stability; gelling properties for water holding capacity and smaller ice crystal formation; foam overrun and stability for shape retention during meltdown; and low viscosity during processing of the mix.”

A highly functional reduced calcium MPC can meet these functionalities and more, resulting in excellent quality, high-protein ice creams.

Click here for Part 1 of the webinar summary on “Formulating Excellent Quality, High-Protein Ice Cream,” which describes the technical details involved in formulating high protein ice cream.

Click here for the “Formulating Excellent Quality, High-Protein Ice Cream” Webinar 

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