1st Tip: quality ingredients for quality ice cream
For manufacturing high quality ice cream everything should start by the ingredients used.
We need to define what a good quality food ingredient is. In the world market there is the concept that ingredients for artisan ice cream must come from this or that country, or from this or that company, and that only in this way it is possible to obtain positive results.
Bearing in mind that the technological development of ice cream and related equipment also may be governed by scientific knowledge, we will understand that good ingredients have some perfectly measurable technical characteristics, and that those ingredients can be obtained in several places, once we know what are the precise requirements.
Good quality milk necessary for the production of refined ice cream doesn’t need to come from a distant country only because it has a higher content of fat. The taste of milk, if it is a differential from a given location, can be an advantage or a disadvantage because, in most cases, it is preferable that it is as neutral as possible.
We call granules to the types of nuts, walnuts, peanuts, chocolates and even dried fruit, whose quality is not difficult to measure, because it depends heavily on the choice of the supplier, since the amounts are not large for a direct purchase from who produces these components. Ice cream training courses give some parameters so that these ingredients are within the standards of high quality.
Fats and proteins
Fats are responsible for softness and structure of ice cream, but are often treated as the bad part of the formula.
As in many of the foods we eat, fats are essential to the balance of the final product. Normally the richest ice cream has a higher fat content because it is significantly creamier and tastier.
Ice cream with low fat is classified in a different way, since it doesn't achieve the creaminess needed to be considered "premium" or superior quality ice cream.
Although eating fat hasn’t been recommended, it is still difficult to make a fat free chocolate. The same occurs with the ice cream.
Milk proteins are an important part of the ice cream but they’ve been often forgotten. It is said that ice cream is a refreshing delicacy only and therefore must not be nutritious.
Yes, ice cream is a nutritious food, and this has been more than proven. Refined ice cream, with carefully balanced formulas, provide great pleasure and serves as an important food credit in healthy diets.
Obviously some of these are characteristics of specific locations on the planet. However, the choice of flavors to be offered to customers can be worked so that the use of fruit arriving from far is not necessary.
Coloring and flavoring
Frequently the job of processing fruit is naturally made by industries, resulting in condensed pulps without losing their main characteristics. Manual processing of fruits sometimes does not result in quality compatible with industrial processes. This is because fruits are mainly composed of water and this water can not be introduced directly into the ice cream. We need to extract the pulp of the fruit
Some say that natural ice cream does not receive these types of ingredients. Or should not receive. It is a valid point of view.
However, the color and flavor are part of a well-designed product and, frequently, we are unable to reach a good color or flavor in a pineapple ice cream, for example, using only the fruit. As a rule it is white and not yellow, and with almost no pineapple flavor, especially if it is made with milk.
To extract the same pineapple color and flavor (which we taste from the fruit), many pineapples would be necessary to produce a small amount of ice cream. Even so, the result is not always equal to the fruit itself. To improve color and flavor there are natural colorants and flavorings without any contraindication, and fruit pulps, with almost all water already removed.
The term stabilizer is commonly linked to industrialized food, which is not always correct. The most typical example of a stabilizer is an egg which is 100% natural.
We must separate what means thickener, emulsifier and preservative, all routinely reported as "stabilizers".
In the egg, the yolk is a natural emulsifier type, because it can stabilize the mixture of water and fat in ice cream and other foods. The egg white, in turn, has the power to retain particles of air in the mixture, then be very used to make "whipped cream".
Corn starch is able to absorb water and become more "gummy" or thicker, hence the concept of mixing thickener.
Salt is an example of natural preservative because it slows down the spoilage of food, inhibiting bacterial growth.
For each one of these components, there are various natural and synthetic options.
The total absence of these additives, even the natural ones, can be valid for the production of artisan ice cream, from the diet point of view, but may not be the best solution to a well-balanced ice cream, with physical characteristics which enable a proper and pleasant tasting of the product.
It would be like making a cake without yeast or whipped cream. And the cake will also need to last some time with the same characteristics. A cake that can be enjoyed only when it is hot, it is not exactly the desire of the most demanding consumers.
The same occurs with the ice cream without the fine touches of refinement. All ice cream recently made usually is good, even without any stabilizing, but needs to be savored at the moment, and with several restrictions. One of them, for example, is that it melts fast.
We are not recommending the use of artificial or natural additives out of the minimum and appropriate quantities. The quality needs a special touch. This touch is the use of these substances exactly as nature uses.
Often treated as the villains of ice cream, sugars are, in fact, the main actors of this product, which should be naturally sweet.
The biggest attraction is the ice cream unparalleled sense detected by our tong that link the sweetness and the cold. With no low temperature the sensation is not so good, as it isn’t with no sweet.
There are studies on the enhancement of sensations when you join temperature with sweetener or salt. Hence the soup is served hot and the ice cream is served cold.
Sugar also has the important function to lower the solidification temperature of ice cream mix which results in an creamy product without losing its softness.
There are many types of sugar (or sweetener) with more or less power to lower the freezing point of the mixture and have different sweetness capacities. Courses of quality ice cream explain the differences between various types of sugars, including caloric and non-caloric.
2nd Tip: pasteurization and homogenization of the ice cream mixture
Apart from high quality ingredients, it is necessary to promote a properly mixing of them before introducing the mixture into the ice cream batch freezer.
For that, the artisan ice cream maker usually uses conventional blenders or mixers provided with cutting blades, which rotate at high speed and promotes only the cutting of the particles that make up the ice cream mix.
The MIXER 15 and pasteurizers of Finamac are provided with an helix specifically designed to promote a perfect emulsion of fat and water contained in the ice cream, in addition of cutting and reducing size of the mixture ingredients. It is a special helix which rotates at lower speed and offers a result of homogenization of the mixture very close to that obtained with industrial high pressure homogenizers.
Pasteurization of the mixture raises its temperature up to 185 F and rapidly cool it down to 39 F destroying all harmful micro organisms that may exist.
A ready mix to produce ice cream, made with the mixer and pasteurization systems offered by Finamac, have very different characteristics that reflect a clear improvement in the quality of the final ice cream, providing greater incorporation of air during beating / freezing, much finer texture and greater absorption of flavor intensity.
Moreover, given the perfect mixture and emulsion, all the ingredients have higher chemical action, slowing the melting process and increasing the shelf life of the ice cream.
3rd Tip: the ice cream beating process
Just like baking a cake the ice cream beating process also has its peculiarities.
If making ice cream was so easy, it would be enough to use a cake mixer and take it to the home freezer. We know that this technique does not produce good quality ice cream.
The beating process should be done in the correct rotation with special blades scraping the ice cream from the internal part of the cylinder as it freezes against the wall. Moreover, cold is necessary in the correct amount and right time.
The way ice cream moves inside the cylinder is a technology that few companies know about and this is the moment when the air is incorporated into the product. Air in adequate amounts does not cost anything and gives softness and lightness to the quality the ice cream.
The technology used in this process is the result of many years of observation and research. The difference in ice cream is remarkable.
4th Tip: the cylinder where the ice cream is frozen
The cylinder where the ice cream is beaten must be made with a thin wall for fast freezing. If it is not thin, the ice cream will be "sandy", with ice crystals formation.
Usually made of stainless steel, batch freezers for artisan ice cream are parts made from commercial tubes or stamped from sheet metal. Stainless steel is not a good thermal conductor which is why cooking pots made of this material have a copper bottom to help heat distribution in the food.
The cylinder of ice cream freezers suffers the same difficulty. The cold standing around the cylinder has difficulty crossing the thick stainless steel that makes up the wall of the cylinder. The ice cream that is inside of this cylinder takes longer to get cold.
Formerly the cylinders used to freeze ice cream were made of copper, material more conductive than stainless steel, but copper is not suitable for direct contact with food.
To solve the problem of poor heat transfer of stainless steel the thickness of the cylinder wall was decreased so that there is less stainless steel for cold to pass through. The problem with this solution is that the wall can be very weak.
Finamac incorporates a forming technology which keeps the metallic structure of stainless steel very compact, with strength limits far superior from traditional stainless steel tubes or plates. This allows the use of a very thin wall without compromising its strength. The increase in heat transfer is impressive, substantially reducing the formation of ice crystals in ice cream and reducing the production time, in addition to substantial energy savings.
Also important to note that there are special categories of stainless steels with higher heat transfer capacity. Finamac uses stainless steel with this advantage, and not common stainless steels used in conventional machines.
If you thought the thicker the wall of the cylinder the more robust the machine would be, well here's the first tip: the real technology of ice cream quality is within the thin wall of the cylinder and the thermo conductive characteristics of the material used.
5th Tip: the cold
How does the cold get to where the ice cream is beaten? Are you aware that a "bain-marie" makes the best quality sweets?
If the cooling gas directly touches the cylinder, your ice cream can be burnt, in the same way pudding is burnt when exposed to direct fire.
The cylinder must be involved with a distributed cooling system that enables its dosage and complete withdrawal at different times in the production of ice cream. This is an ultra modern technology that only Finamac has.
6th Tip: hygiene
Contamination caused by ice cream machines that are not up to hygienic standards can be harmful.
No any type of stainless steel in contact with foods, nor any type of plastic. There are special plastics and stainless steel used for each purpose.
Parts without rounded edges are difficult to clean and, furthermore, are dangerous. A well designed machine follows strict sanitary requirements.
7th Tip: equipment versatility
Is the cost of your machine proportional to its weight?
150 kg gives you enough machine to produce ice cream. So, if your old machine weighs 500 kg, the rest is excess.
Why would a manufacturer give you 350 kg of extra material?
The answer is simple: it is cheaper to produce a machine using cheaper materials, such as iron, even if it weighs much more than special plastics or thin stainless steel.
If lightness were a synonym for weakness, then airplanes would not be the safest type of transportation in the world.
When selecting Finamac equipment, you are getting the most modern machines, made with aeronautic technology. They are lighter and more durable than their heavy iron competitors.
What are the advantages?
Easy to move, for cleaning and changing locations.
Any vehicle can easily haul the machine.
Easy to substitute parts.
8th Tip: safety
For easy-handling you need safe equipment, and safety begins with a responsible design. Finamac is one of the few ice cream equipment companies that follow international standards.
Our safety measures include electric, mechanical, and operational protection.
Operational failures occasionally occur. Finamac equipment is designed to be sufficiently intelligent in order to avoid damage and danger.
9th Tip: maintenance and environmental responsibility
How much does it cost to maintain your equipment?
Many times we only pay attention to the initial cost of the machine, and forget to ask about replacement parts, technical assistance services etc.
That’s what frequently happens with a lot of products, especially among computer accessories such as ink jet printers, where the replacement parts exceed the price of the product.
If your equipment is designed with modular and recyclable components, easy to substitute, you will be free of unexpected maintenance costs. If it had been designed with a non modular parts with known knowledge about their life cycle, you would be subjected to specialized services and hidden prices. Hermetic and modular components receive the factory warranty and are free from manual intervention.
All components used in Finamac equipment, including the structural parts, are modular and hermetic, allowing for easy replacement and modernization. You will not be stuck with an old machine, difficult to resale. It is not made with heavy iron, which is inflexible and not compatible with emerging technology.
The crate for all Finamac machines is modular, demountable and reusable. Yes, because your machine can change places, can be sent for maintenance and may one day be sold in perfect condition, properly protected by its original packaging.