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This vs. That: Dairy and Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Ice cream products have developed tremendously over the past few decades, with dairy-free ice cream now playing a significant role in the ice cream industry. Both the regular ice cream and dairy-free ice cream have a unique creation process, subjectively the same, however with different ingredients and some differing techniques. Regular ice cream usually contains, but is not limited to the following ingredients; milk fat and nonfat milk solids, milk-related proteins, lactose, cane sugar or sucrose, flavorings, such as fruit, vanilla, and so forth. Those products are then blended together in stainless steel vats before the milk goes through what is called homogenization, the process of making two non-soluble mixtures the same mixture. Afterward, the mixture is heated at around eighty degrees celsius as a means of eliminating bacteria. The mixture is then left for anytime between two to twenty-four hours, allowing solidification to occur to any fat globules within the mix. Right before freezing the mixture, flavorings will be added, then after the freezing of the mixture, it is thoroughly stirred, enabling air to enter the mixture. The ice cream is then packaged and frozen once again, allowing for it to freeze and be distributed. Typically with dairy-free ice cream, the dairy products are replaced with dairy-free alternatives such as almond or cashew milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and more. A majority of the alternatives, however, lack the fat content whole milk contains, therefore providing a challenge to replicate ideal non-dairy ice cream. The fat content allows for the actual base of the ice cream to be fluffy and provides a sweet flavor, which is why without the fat, the ice cream would taste not so great! Nonetheless, the fat content can easily be replaced, typically with extra lactase, the lactase playing the role that the fat content would’ve done otherwise. Although the overall creation process is the same, often it is necessary to use technology to even up some of the amounts of ingredients. Aside from different ingredients and creation processes, the two types of ice cream both provide health benefits. As a result of the different products, dairy-free ice cream often contains a smaller amount of calories and sugars compared to ice cream with dairy. Despite the fact that dairy-free ice cream often contains a smaller amount of calories and sugars, which can be benefactory, often the dairy free ice cream contains more saturated fat than regular ice cream. Now that you know the facts, you can make the choice that is best for you and your dietary requirements!