Indulgent or clean label - why not both?


20 October 2023


Ice cream has always been indulgent, but mindful consumers now want clean label options too. Read on to find out how you can achieve the best of both worlds.


Who doesn’t love ice cream? Perfectly plain, smothered in sauce or the ideal partner for your favourite dessert, this versatile frozen treat is loved by kids and adults alike. But with more consumers paying close attention to food labels, clean label products are increasingly in demand – and it’s up to formulators to deliver.

Meeting the challenge


Reformulating existing mainstream favourites to achieve a clean label platform is far from straight forward. Ice cream is a complex food system, where every ingredient has a role to play in creating the full sensory experience consumers expect.


Different stabilisers, thickeners and emulsifiers are used to develop specific product characteristics. The size of the ice crystals, for instance, directly influences texture while emulsion stability is critical to the perception of quality.


This means that manufactures need to find alternative ingredients that are not only clean label, but can also be used to replicate the required functionality. But it is possible. Clean label ingredients have come a long way in terms of choice, price and performance.


Fibres extracted from fruits or vegetables for example, can be used to create the sought-after, creamy ice cream texture and support nutritional targets – all without significantly impacting costs. A big win for brands targeting health-conscious consumers on a budget. In every case, however, dedicating adequate time and resources to the reformulation process can’t be emphasised enough. Ice cream is a complicated foam structure produced by mixing fat into a sugar, water and air base, so any disruption or change to the balance of ingredients is likely to impact the final product’s sensory profile. 


That’s why a carefully thought-out analytical testing strategy is so important. Measuring crucial product aspects such as ice cream overrun, ice crystal formation and emulsion stability, it gives you the data you need to ensure product quality is maintained before the all-important launch.


How can RSSL help?


From recipe development and pilot scale trials to sensory testing and targeted analytical imaging, our dedicated team of food scientists and technologists will support you every step of the way. Click through to find out more or complete the form below. 

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