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What's in your cream?


Mjx
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I'd like to know the quantities of stabilizer they use, mostly because I use cream for ice cream. The carageenan content could make a real difference. If I ever use pure cream from the farmer's market, it would be nice to have a clue how much to compensate.

Notes from the underbelly

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The amount of carrageenan in the heavy whipping cream I used is listed as 0.1%.

It is listed as an organic product, undegraded food grade, refined from Irish Moss.

I've got some antique cookbooks that mention Irish moss (dried) to be made into a thick drink to take as a remedy for "catarrh" or sore throat, etc.

It seems that as an additive, it is fairly innocuous, compared to some of the other stuff that goes into industrial foods.

This is probably the description that is easiest to understand.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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In general here there is 'pure cream' (35% milk fat, no additives), thickened cream (the same fat percentage, but with gelatine and sometimes vegetable gum), or double/dollop cream (in varying fat ranges, but higher than pure cream). Anyone else feel free to come in and add to this/correct me.

I have only seen either Pura or Dairy Farmer's pure cream at the supermarket (usually side-by-side, which is funny, considering they are both owned by National Foods).

Double cream is pure: I see Gippsland Dairy and King Island cream at the supermarket. It's very nice on a hot winter dessert.

Ultra-pasteurized cream is not something I've come across. Aldi's organic milk is ultra-pasteurised though, so it's probably going to happen sooner or later. We do have long life cream available though - one person I know uses it for things like potato bakes because it's more convenient that keeping fresh cream.

While light thickened cream is common, I've never seen light unthickened cream, coffee cream or half & half. Actually, I don't know anyone here who puts cream in their coffee at home (although I've converted a few over the years) and out and about it's all about the cap/latte/flat white.

More info (though little detail) available at Dairy Australia.

ETA: King Island is owned by National Foods as well.

Edited by Snadra (log)
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The amount of carrageenan in the heavy whipping cream I used is listed as 0.1%.

It is listed as an organic product, undegraded food grade, refined from Irish Moss.

I've got some antique cookbooks that mention Irish moss (dried) to be made into a thick drink to take as a remedy for "catarrh" or sore throat, etc.

How antique are we talking? I'd be curious to know how long Irish Moss has been used in cooking. I knew Fergus Henderson has a recipe calling for it in The Whole Beast, but I wasn't sure how long this tradition had been around.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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It seems that as an additive, it is fairly innocuous, compared to some of the other stuff that goes into industrial foods.

This is true, carageenan is not a health issue. A taste issue, perhaps, but not a serious health issue.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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It's interesting to see how regional this is WITHIN the United Sates. I see many people mentioning they can get plain crea at Whole Foods. I can't. And Whole Foods STARTED and is based in Texas. Also, I can't get "light" cream. I think everything is "whipping cream" or "heavy whipping cream".

I was in Whole Foods today and decided to scan the milk aisle. Does your WF carry the 365 Heavy Cream in the plastic bottles? In ours, there are no additives. My local WF carries 365, Natural by Nature, Horizon & 1 other in a carton (I forget the brand name) brand heavy cream. 365 & Natural by Nature listed only cream in the ingredients. Horizon is ultra-pasteurized and lists cream, carageenan & sodium citrate. The other brand listed only cream & carageenan.

eta: remembered that the other brand is Organic Valley. According to their website they offer a pasteurized version that only contains cream but my store seems to stock the u-p version with carrageenan.

Edited by natasha1270 (log)
"The main thing to remember about Italian food is that when you put your groceries in the car, the quality of your dinner has already been decided." – Mario Batali
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It seems that as an additive, it is fairly innocuous, compared to some of the other stuff that goes into industrial foods.

This is true, carageenan is not a health issue. A taste issue, perhaps, but not a serious health issue.

my understanding is that carrageenan is derived from seaweed. i can detect no difference in the taste of the heavy cream, but perhaps a slight thickening of what i recall to be a thick product to begin with. i'm not concerned with the health issue--hell, the stuff is probably good for ya. i'm just interested in why it's in there, when i think until recently it was not. that cream was pretty much perfect the way it was--tasted like dairy, which in my opinion the ultrapasteurized stuff does not, whipped beautifully and was great for sauces. why add seaweed, i wonder? seems like an odd dairy ingredient, no?

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I have an answer from a real dairyman as to the purpose of carragheenan (his spelling) in cream and dairy products in his company.

It's simply a stabilizer to keep the heavy cream from separating and becoming very solid at the top of the bottle or carton.

Some years ago they had many complaints about the cream products becoming so thick at the top of the cartons that the only way to extract it was to either open the entire top (which was then difficult to close) or cut the top off and use a utensil to scrape out the caked cream.

If allowed to sit in the container too long, whether paper or glass, the very top becomes so concentrated with butterfat that it develops a waxy consistency that is so thick it is difficult to mix it back into the body of the cream.

Nothing will prevent this completely but carragheenan works as well as other ingredients, that might not be as acceptable, to keep the butterfat evenly distributed throughout the cream.

He's a Scot and says his granny cooked the dried Irish moss (and other seaweeds) into a semi-solid gelatin that was added to gravies, soups, custards and other foods that needed a bit of thickening.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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always trust andiesenji to come up with a plausible answer. thanks as always!

one of the things i loved about that cream was that the cream rose to the top of the cream! :wacko:

to me, that was evidence of its non-ultrapasteurized and non homoginized (is that a word?) nature. it seems to me that the cream does now pour more smoothly, without the "ploof" as the wodge of cream dislodges from the neck of the plastic bottle. pity that they may have elected to fix a problem that, for me anyway, didn't exist. it's still my go-to cream. with or without the seaweed.

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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I was in Whole Foods today and decided to scan the milk aisle. Does your WF carry the 365 Heavy Cream in the plastic bottles? In ours, there are no additives.

365 is one of Whole Foods' store brands, I'd be kind of surprised if it weren't available.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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always trust andiesenji to come up with a plausible answer. thanks as always!

one of the things i loved about that cream was that the cream rose to the top of the cream! :wacko:

to me, that was evidence of its non-ultrapasteurized and non homoginized (is that a word?) nature. it seems to me that the cream does now pour more smoothly, without the "ploof" as the wodge of cream dislodges from the neck of the plastic bottle. pity that they may have elected to fix a problem that, for me anyway, didn't exist. it's still my go-to cream. with or without the seaweed.

The guy who gave me the information was a neighbor when I lived down in the Valley. He worked for Adohr Dairy for 20 years and then for Giacopuzzi Dairy for 15 years then worked for Southland Corp. that had bought several independent dairies, supervising the breeding programs until he retired in 1993. He emigrated here from Scotland at age 17 and went right to work for Adohr where his uncle had worked since the '30s. There isn't much he doesn't know about dairy. He lives in Castaic and guess what? He has a cow, which he milks by hand and has taught his grandchildren the technique.

I found him a "vintage" electric pasteurizer similar to mine when he got the cow a few years ago.

When I first moved up here there were several local farmers who would sell milk, until the county inspectors got so picky. I could buy raw milk and pasteurize it myself and it was fresh from the cow that day. Good stuff. In my opinion the LA Co. health dept has just gone way too far and they are a bunch of jerks when you try to ask them anything. Arrrrrgh! :angry:

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have a pint of Trader Joe's heavy whipping cream in the fridge right now and the ingredients are: cream. I live in Maryland and bought it at the Trader Joe's in Annapolis. I have been looking at the various brands a lot this winter trying to find creams without the modifiers and thickeners also and have only found this and one other which I cannot remember the brand right now but was not as easily obtained as TJ's.

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Andie.....*ADOHR* :wub::wub::wub: Oh I loved them ! And MISS them. How cool that you know someone who worked for them. And thanks for explaining why the TJ's cream no long "plugs" of the top of the bottle. I had noticed that, but never thought to check the label. Still the best mega-commercial cream out there, though..

jsmeeker, the TJ's "heavy" cream is *just* pasturized. I hate ultra-pasturized cream, and will not buy it. That was why I initially started to buy the TJ's. Out here it comes in a pint bottle, plastic, with a pink screw cap, that looks like an old-time milk bottle. They do sell another "whipping" cream in a carton, but I think that one may be ultra-pasturized. The "heavy" cream with the pink cap in my fridge does have the carrageenan, but still performs well (made creme brulees today with it) and tastes great.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

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I was at the store yesterday and checked the cream. The standard dairy cream had " cream, mono and diglycerdies, polysorbate 80, and carrageenan" it also had the contains milk tag

The premium cream from a local dairy only had cream and carrageean.

Each were ultra pasteurized.

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Andie.....*ADOHR* :wub::wub::wub: Oh I loved them ! And MISS them. How cool that you know someone who worked for them. And thanks for explaining why the TJ's cream no long "plugs" of the top of the bottle. I had noticed that, but never thought to check the label. Still the best mega-commercial cream out there, though..

I was also related, by marriage, to Adohr. The father of my second husband worked for Adohr for fifty years - starting in 1918 when he came home from WWI and retired in '68. He was given one of the vintage "Adohr green" milk trucks. My husband and I married in '61 and we attended the funeral of Rhoda Rindge Adamson, the widow of the founder, in 1962. At that time it was the largest milk producer in the world and sold milk to other companies, such as Borden and Carnation, etc., as well as their direct sales. (During my marriage to Chuck, I learned a lot of Adohr (Rhoda spelled backwards) history, including the fact that she chose the distinctive color of the trucks. At a time when most vehicles were black, those green trucks really stood out.

They had only Guernsey cows, which was one reason the milk was so good with a much higher butterfat content. I remember in the milk bottles that almost half would be cream, even with the jostling in the delivery truck.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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jsmeeker, the TJ's "heavy" cream is *just* pasturized. I hate ultra-pasturized cream, and will not buy it. That was why I initially started to buy the TJ's. Out here it comes in a pint bottle, plastic, with a pink screw cap, that looks like an old-time milk bottle. They do sell another "whipping" cream in a carton, but I think that one may be ultra-pasturized. The "heavy" cream with the pink cap in my fridge does have the carrageenan, but still performs well (made creme brulees today with it) and tastes great.

This is the cream I was referring to up thread. I haven't bought it since 2008, but I remember there was always a thick plug of cream at the top (almost solid, really) and it whipped very quickly. I assume it just has more butterfat than the others.

I've bought the Strauss cream before in the glass bottle, but I like the yellower, thicker Clover better.

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I have an answer from a real dairyman as to the purpose of carragheenan (his spelling) in cream and dairy products in his company.

It's simply a stabilizer to keep the heavy cream from separating and becoming very solid at the top of the bottle or carton.

Some years ago they had many complaints about the cream products becoming so thick at the top of the cartons that the only way to extract it was to either open the entire top (which was then difficult to close) or cut the top off and use a utensil to scrape out the caked cream.

If allowed to sit in the container too long, whether paper or glass, the very top becomes so concentrated with butterfat that it develops a waxy consistency that is so thick it is difficult to mix it back into the body of the cream.

Nothing will prevent this completely but carragheenan works as well as other ingredients, that might not be as acceptable, to keep the butterfat evenly distributed throughout the cream.

He's a Scot and says his granny cooked the dried Irish moss (and other seaweeds) into a semi-solid gelatin that was added to gravies, soups, custards and other foods that needed a bit of thickening.

Andie,

Thank you for your excellent explanation. This is exactly the reason that we enjoy Pasteurized Manufacture's Cream. As explained upthread, we purchase the Meijer Heavy Whipping Cream and age it to well past the expiration date in our fridge. When opened, we have the most luscious double cream which is heavenly on scones.

Tim

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I have an answer from a real dairyman as to the purpose of carragheenan (his spelling) in cream and dairy products in his company.

It's simply a stabilizer to keep the heavy cream from separating and becoming very solid at the top of the bottle or carton.

Some years ago they had many complaints about the cream products becoming so thick at the top of the cartons that the only way to extract it was to either open the entire top (which was then difficult to close) or cut the top off and use a utensil to scrape out the caked cream.

If allowed to sit in the container too long, whether paper or glass, the very top becomes so concentrated with butterfat that it develops a waxy consistency that is so thick it is difficult to mix it back into the body of the cream.

Nothing will prevent this completely but carragheenan works as well as other ingredients, that might not be as acceptable, to keep the butterfat evenly distributed throughout the cream.

He's a Scot and says his granny cooked the dried Irish moss (and other seaweeds) into a semi-solid gelatin that was added to gravies, soups, custards and other foods that needed a bit of thickening.

You describe this as if the clotting on the top was a bad thing something to be "fixed"--the attitude that has ruined a lot of our foods. It was always our favorite part. And yes, we scooped it out, as a treat.

In New England we still make a dessert with Irish Moss that is similar to blancmange. Irish moss is basically carrageenan

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You describe this as if the clotting on the top was a bad thing something to be "fixed"--the attitude that has ruined a lot of our foods. It was always our favorite part. And yes, we scooped it out, as a treat.

In New England we still make a dessert with Irish Moss that is similar to blancmange. Irish moss is basically carrageenan

janeer, i think you misunderstood andiesenji's post. i believe she wasn't saying that the plug of cream was a bad thing, at all. she was relating an explanation given to her by someone who used to work at a well-regarded local dairy as to why they started putting carrageenan into the cream. enough people must have complained...which is indeed a pity. i like the local cream, even with the irish moss/carrageenan addition, but i'd like it even better without it!

"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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  • 1 year later...

I read labels, thus I discovered that many brands of cream (whipping cream) contain carrageenan. This holds true for organic cream as well as regular supermarket cream.

I'm wondering why some cream has carrageenan added to it. I know it's something of a thickener, and maybe adds some mouth feel, but cream is so simple an item why would it need additives? In addition, how does the carrageenan effect whipping the cream, or the results obtained when cooking with it?

I've never purchased cream with the additive, and, frankly, don't really want to. There are enough additive-free choices around this area that I can be a little fussy.

 ... Shel


 

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I think the main reason for the addition is to help to stabilize the cream, since thin emulsions usually have a tendency to break faster.

Keep in mind that carageenan is simply extract from red seaweed, probably not much less "natural" than the cream itself.

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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Shel, are you buying shelf-stable UHT cream, or is it in the dairy case? Shelf-stable UHT creams contain carrageenan as a stabilizer and emulsifier; dairy-case creams may contain it to extend their shelf lives and prevent the cream from separating unduly into crema and nata. (This is rarely the case with refrigerated cream in markets here, but in NorAm it was horrid - very difficult to find dairy-case creams without any additives.)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Shel, are you buying shelf-stable UHT cream, or is it in the dairy case? Shelf-stable UHT creams contain carrageenan as a stabilizer and emulsifier; dairy-case creams may contain it to extend their shelf lives and prevent the cream from separating unduly into crema and nata. (This is rarely the case with refrigerated cream in markets here, but in NorAm it was horrid - very difficult to find dairy-case creams without any additives.)

I didn't know there was such a thing as "shelf-stable UHT cream." No, I get the regular cream in the dairy case.

Last year I left some un-carrageened cream in the fridge for a few days after opening it, and there was separation. So, you're saying that carrageenan might prevent that? You mention cream being "horrid." In what way?

 ... Shel


 

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