How is Ice Cream Made?

Image by Becco Eliacik
Image by Becco Eliacik

Ice cream contains as much protein as milk and three times as much fat. However, a serving of ice cream contains only about one-third as much vitamin A, calcium, and the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin as an equal amount of milk.

Commercial Preparation

Commercial ice cream is prepared from butterfat, nonfat milk solids, sugar stabilizers, and flavoring agents. Butterfat gives ice cream its creamy flavor and texture. The nonfat milk solids give it body and make it smooth. The stabilizers, such as gelatin or gum, are added to give the blend a smooth texture by preventing large ice crystals from forming during the freezing process. Sugar and various kinds of flavoring provide sweetness and add to the taste of ice cream. Natural flavorings, such as chopped or whole fruits or nuts, also add a variety of different textures.

After being mixed, the ingredients are pasteurized, usually at 155° F (68° C) for about 30 minutes. They are then thoroughly blended before being cooled in a freezer. In the freezer the mixture is whipped and becomes filled with air. This air, called overrun or swell, gives additional smoothness and lightness tt the blend. It also serves as an insulator so that ice cream can be easily eaten even though it is very cold. While still in semiliquid form, the mixture is removed from the freezer and poured into packages. The packages are stored in refrigerated rooms at -25° F (-32° C) where the ice cream hardens.

Products similar to ice cream include sorbet, ice milk, frozen custard, and tortoni. Sorbet is usually made with fruits or fruit juices, sweeteners, and small amounts of egg white or milk. Ice milk contains more nonfat milk solids and less butterfat than ice cream. Frozen custard contains all of the ingredients of ice cream with extra amounts of eggs or egg yolks. Tortoni, an ice cream made with heavy cream, sometimes contains minced almonds, chopped cherries, or other fruits. Spumoni consists of layers of ice cream that differ in flavor, color, and texture. Like tortoni, it often contains fruits and nuts.


The first ice dessert was probably prepared for the Roman emperor Nero Claudius Caesar during the 1st century A.D. It was made from snow and fruit juices and other flavorings. After the decline of Rome the technique for making ice desserts seems to have been lost.

In the 13th century, Marco Polo brought to Europe from the Far East a recipe for an ice dessert made with milk. The dish rapidly became very popular among the nobility, and recipes were gradually improved by royal chefs. Although kept secret for many years, the recipes eventually became known to the common people.

Ice cream was introduced to the American colonies in the late 1600's, and by the end of the 18th century the first ice cream parlors were established in New York City. In 1846 a portable hand-cranked freezer was invented, and many people began making ice cream at home. Ice cream was not made on a large scale until the late 19th century, when new methods of refrigeration were developed. As the industry grew, ice cream became available to more people. Its popularity was further increased with the introduction of the ice cream cone at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, which was held in St. Louis, in 1904.

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ziplockbags profile image

ziplockbags 7 years ago from Dallas, TX

This is interesting. I wonder how things have changed since ice cream first began. I bet it's vastly different. The best ice cream is still home made.

juliawinston profile image

juliawinston 7 years ago

I just wrote a post on the different methods of making homemade Ice Cream. I just read your really detailed post and think I want to write another hub on frozen custard. SO GOOD! All this talk is making me hungry - and ziplockbags: you're totally right, the best kind is still made at home!

MR SHUMO 6 years ago


zane 6 years ago

ice cream iz good

hmms 6 years ago

yeah home made is the best, 12:52 July 16, 2010

bob 6 years ago

I LIKE ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(A lot) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lily Hopgern 6 years ago

I love ice cream!!!

Bob 6 years ago

Ice cream is yummy ;)

Longtail profile image

Longtail 6 years ago Author

Yes Bob, it is VERY yummy.

ice cream queen 6 years ago

i looooooovvvvvvveeeeee ice cream it is verry good

missy frantomm 6 years ago

ice cream is the best and im doing a survery a ice creamm ! :

holy crappppp 6 years ago

icccceeeee crrrrreammm is soooooooo fricken awesssssommmmeeeeee yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

jj 6 years ago

cupcakes and icecream sounds great together

EMILY 6 years ago

icecream is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gooodd.

Longtail profile image

Longtail 6 years ago Author

Emily, you are sooooooooooooo right about that!

gi..macca 6 years ago

YUMMMMMM im at schoool and eating ice-cream it is the best i could live on a land called all ice cream nothing else yummmmmmmmy :)


Moxyl profile image

Moxyl 6 years ago from Global Village

Lovely! thx for the delicious info!

PaperNotes profile image

PaperNotes 6 years ago

I have watched a television show which featured how ice cream is made. It just showed the processes yet not very detailed as your hub.

Wanna be you 6 years ago


jesse todd 6 years ago

i love your mom

jdawg 5 years ago

ir a retard

Tiarna 5 years ago

is there any good pages on How to make ice cream made

anji 5 years ago


kilo59 5 years ago


Blue Bell Inc. 5 years ago

Ice cream is amazing! i could eat a whole thing of it everyday!!! I love Blue Bell's Homemade Vanilla! Try it! It's delicious!!! Answer me and tell me if you love it! And i will send you a coupon for a free, 1 gallon, coupon at your local grocery store!! rate it on how good it was!(1-10)

Barbara 5 years ago


ghen ico 5 years ago

hmm yummy

so muct to love eating because of ice cream

lala_ebkk 5 years ago

ice cream iisz so effinqk qudk.....i would do anythinqk fo iiht....anywaysz idunno i jzt love iice cream.....!!!!!

lala 5 years ago


elisa 5 years ago

i love blue bell's homemade ice cream! it is delicious!


jayshley 5 years ago

icecreams the best!!!!

butterfly 5 years ago

i have to make a speech at school and i choose it to be about ice cream and so far this is the only thing i found that actucally helped me and i think im gonna pass! :) thank you a lot

Jasmeetkaursaini 5 years ago

I love icecream a lot

PuppyLove 5 years ago


yuanitaXnitaboo 5 years ago

Well this is very informational, and im doing a project in launguage in this helps a lot. Butterfly a lot is to separate words honey!

icecreamgirl 5 years ago


omg 5 years ago

wow this is informational

12345 5 years ago

awsome! i like ice cream to. duhhh!

ellie williams 5 years ago

ice creammmmmmmm looooooooooovvvveeeeeeee uuuuuuuuu

meme 5 years ago

ice cream is so good but i like cookies and cream better than all the ice creams in the world.

Snoopy5566 4 years ago

I am doing a report on either ice cream or tigers for school. Which should i do?? any advice??

THX!! :)

jessica 4 years ago

What are you guys doing talking about ice cream 4 years ago

wow it is very interesting.for all big and small children .

lovely i love ice cream a lot. 4 years ago

children like ice cream a lot and me to iiiccceee cccrrreeemmm

hiruni mapalagama 4 years ago

wow its very fun i too love ice favourite food.after i eat the rice surelly i will an ice cream everyday.but for others the fever will come but for me no never.i love ice cream soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much.thank you for this indroduction execellent.very interesting.thank you verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry much.

MrDunken77 4 years ago

Thanks i needed this for my Science Fair!

Grace 4 years ago

wow, although this info was long it was very useful for a school project :) and now i feel like icecream!

cammie elledy jacks 4 years ago

ice cream!


genius right?

lisa 4 years ago

LOVE ICECREEEEEMMM also u should do a shorter paragragh

that was cool 4 years ago

that was cool

Sabrina H 4 years ago

Very useful site.

ejq 4 years ago

cool i wish i could make ice cream

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