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How is Ice Cream Made?

Updated on November 13, 2010
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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    • profile image

      ejq 5 years ago

      cool i wish i could make ice cream

    • profile image

      Sabrina H 5 years ago

      Very useful site.

    • profile image

      that was cool 5 years ago

      that was cool

    • profile image

      lisa 5 years ago

      LOVE ICECREEEEEMMM also u should do a shorter paragragh

    • profile image

      cammie elledy jacks 5 years ago

      ice cream!


      genius right?

    • profile image

      Grace 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      MrDunken77 5 years ago

      Thanks i needed this for my Science Fair!

    • profile image

      hiruni mapalagama 5 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.

    • profile image 5 years ago

      children like ice cream a lot and me to iiiccceee cccrrreeemmm

    • profile image 5 years ago

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

      lovely i love ice cream a lot.

    • profile image

      jessica 5 years ago

      What are you guys doing talking about ice cream

    • profile image

      Snoopy5566 5 years ago

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

      THX!! :)

    • profile image

      meme 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      ellie williams 5 years ago

      ice creammmmmmmm looooooooooovvvveeeeeeee uuuuuuuuu

    • profile image

      12345 5 years ago

      awsome! i like ice cream to. duhhh!

    • profile image

      omg 6 years ago

      wow this is informational

    • profile image

      icecreamgirl 6 years ago


    • profile image

      yuanitaXnitaboo 6 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!

    • profile image

      PuppyLove 6 years ago


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      Jasmeetkaursaini 6 years ago

      I love icecream a lot

    • profile image

      butterfly 6 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

    • profile image

      jayshley 6 years ago

      icecreams the best!!!!

    • profile image

      elisa 6 years ago

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


    • profile image

      lala 6 years ago


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      lala_ebkk 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      ghen ico 6 years ago

      hmm yummy

      so muct to love eating because of ice cream

    • profile image

      Barbara 6 years ago


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      Blue Bell Inc. 6 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)

    • profile image

      kilo59 6 years ago


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      anji 6 years ago


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      Tiarna 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      jdawg 6 years ago

      ir a retard

    • profile image

      jesse todd 6 years ago

      i love your mom

    • profile image

      Wanna be you 7 years ago


    • PaperNotes profile image

      PaperNotes 7 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.

    • Moxyl profile image

      Moxyl 7 years ago from Global Village

      Lovely! thx for the delicious info!

    • profile image

      gi..macca 7 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 :)


    • Longtail profile image

      Longtail 7 years ago

      Emily, you are sooooooooooooo right about that!

    • profile image

      EMILY 7 years ago

      icecream is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo gooodd.

    • profile image

      jj 7 years ago

      cupcakes and icecream sounds great together

    • profile image

      holy crappppp 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      missy frantomm 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      ice cream queen 7 years ago

      i looooooovvvvvvveeeeee ice cream it is verry good

    • Longtail profile image

      Longtail 7 years ago

      Yes Bob, it is VERY yummy.

    • profile image

      Bob 7 years ago

      Ice cream is yummy ;)

    • profile image

      Lily Hopgern 7 years ago

      I love ice cream!!!

    • profile image

      bob 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      hmms 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      zane 7 years ago

      ice cream iz good

    • profile image

      MR SHUMO 7 years ago


    • juliawinston profile image

      juliawinston 8 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!

    • ziplockbags profile image

      ziplockbags 8 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.