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Terrasanct

Sweeteners in ice cream

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I'm trying to find a way to make a decent sugar-free ice cream or gelato but I'm not sure it's possible. Splenda makes a good ice cream if eaten right away but gets impossibly hard in the freezer.

Honey is pretty much as sweet as sugar, so not the best for my purposes, but can anyone tell me how making ice cream with honey affects the texture?

Then there are the other artificial sweeteners like erythritol, xylitol, whatever. How do they change the texture?

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I'm trying to find a way to make a decent sugar-free ice cream or gelato but I'm not sure it's possible.  Splenda makes a good ice cream if eaten right away but gets impossibly hard in the freezer.

Honey is pretty much as sweet as sugar, so not the best for my purposes, but can anyone tell me how making ice cream with honey affects the texture?

Then there are the other artificial sweeteners like erythritol, xylitol, whatever.  How do they change the texture?

I have a product that I use to make Compari wine-coolers - it's Stevia and I buy it in the helath food stores. It is sold as a suppliment and not as a food product. It comes in an alcohol base and in a glycerine base.. The alcohol based product works best in my drinks. It has no caloric content and no carbs. I have been tempted to experiment with a custard based ice cream, but have not. I like it's flavor - but it does have a slight flavor which I'm hard-pressed to describe. I use a vanilla bean paste (bourbon based) and thought it might work well with this in vanilla ice cream.

Sara in Carmel, CA

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I do have Stevia, which I often combine with Splenda for a better sweetening effect. But it's a powder, not in a base. I haven't had any problem making ice cream sweet--it tastes perfect--but it freezes too hard.

I have a few other artificial sweeteners in my cupboard, too.

Also, I have been making vanilla with vodka and vanilla beans. I'm not sure how good of a vanilla it will make but I'm curious how adding some of it would affect the texture of an ice cream. I've never made an ice cream with alcohol but I've heard it has some effect.

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I do have Stevia, which I often combine with Splenda for a better sweetening effect.  But it's a powder, not in a base.  I haven't had any problem making ice cream sweet--it tastes perfect--but it freezes too hard.

I have a few other artificial sweeteners in my cupboard, too.

Also, I have been making vanilla with vodka and vanilla beans.  I'm not sure how good of a vanilla it will make but I'm curious how adding some of it would affect the texture of an ice cream.  I've never made an ice cream with alcohol but I've heard it has some effect.

Would you make a custard based ice cream? I think the alcohol based stevia would cook off and the consistancy would be better. I don't know about the glycerine based product - I am tempted to think it would assist with the consistancy and freezing. Do you have a copy of Harold Magee's book ON FOOD AND COOKING ? I think he talks about the chemistry of icecream and troubleshooting....my copy is at home but, alas, I'm here at the office without it...

Sara

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Also, I have been making vanilla with vodka and vanilla beans.  I'm not sure how good of a vanilla it will make but I'm curious how adding some of it would affect the texture of an ice cream.  I've never made an ice cream with alcohol but I've heard it has some effect.

When I made ice cream with alcohol, it didn't freeze too well.

I'm making ice cream today, but only had two eggs, so melted down some gelatin in apple juice (and cut back on the sugar). With the berries I have ... very nice, I hope!


"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office

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I do have On Food and Cooking, both editions. I'll check that out, thanks.

I also wondered--what about cutting the sugar down to half and replacing the rest with Splenda? (The granular kind.) Would the smaller amount of sugar be enough to do whatever it does chemically?

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May I ask, with no sarcasm or any other form of animosity whatever, why anyone, unless specifically allergic to sugar, would want to make a sugar-free ice cream.

If it's because of calories, perhaps a more ideal solution for those concerned with the quality and taste of what they eat would be to make the richest, highest butter-fat ice cream, one as laded with sugar as one likes and to eat only 2 - 3 tablespoons full instead of 2 - 3 scoops?

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I'm trying to find a way to make a decent sugar-free ice cream or gelato but I'm not sure it's possible.  Splenda makes a good ice cream if eaten right away but gets impossibly hard in the freezer.

Honey is pretty much as sweet as sugar, so not the best for my purposes, but can anyone tell me how making ice cream with honey affects the texture?

Then there are the other artificial sweeteners like erythritol, xylitol, whatever.  How do they change the texture?

Sweeteners play the primary role in determining the "scoopability" in any frozen dessert. In ice cream, the fat and air are also important. The rule of thumb is to use 15% sugar (sucrose) by weight, which provides the sweetness most people like as well as depressing the freezing point to make the ice cream softer. Sucrose is a small molecule that interferes with ice crystal formation, thus preventing the ice cream from fully freezing, even at temps of 0F. Dextrose (aka glucose) has similar sweetness but twice the freezing point depression, so you can substitute dextrose for maybe 25% of the sucrose to get softer ice cream. Fructose is almost twice as sweet as sugar with twice the freezing point depression, so you can use very little and get similar results. Honey is mostly dextrose and fructose, so it is good at making ice cream softer. However the flavor is strong, so you can't use very much without the flavor overpowering.

Still, the sweeteners I've mentioned are all nutritive sweeteners, i.e. full of calories. It's very difficult to make no-sugar-added ice cream with non-nutritive sweeteners and maintain scoopability. Industrial ice cream companies do it by adding "bulking agents" like polydextrose and other byproducts of the petroleum and wood-pulp industries that might make you reconsider your objections to sugar.

If you want to make better Splenda ice cream, you can try adding about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of non-fat powdered milk per quart of mix. This will replace some of the dissolved solids that are missing because of the lack of sugar. It won't depress the freezing point much, but it will help prevent some iciness and improve scoopability a little. (This will actually improve any ice cream, not just the NSA kind.) Go ahead and add a couple of tablespoons of honey or corn syrup too. The benefit to the texture will be worth the few calories. Better yet, just use sugar instead of Splenda and eat half as much. :smile:

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May I ask, with no sarcasm or any other form of animosity whatever, why anyone, unless specifically allergic to sugar, would want to make a sugar-free ice cream. 

If it's because of calories, perhaps a more ideal solution for those concerned with the quality and taste of what they eat would be to make the richest, highest butter-fat ice cream, one as laded with sugar as one likes and to eat only 2 - 3 tablespoons full instead of 2 - 3 scoops?

diabetics?

I've never tried making ice cream with a sugar substitute, but I know that I'd probably prefer a homemade sugar free ice cream to a store bought one, what with the control over the ingredients and the lack of additional preservatives, etc.

But then I am someone who struggles with weight and portion control (if one's good, ten's better!)--for ice cream there is not 2-3 tablespoons, only cups or none at all.

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I've never tried making ice cream with a sugar substitute, but I know that I'd probably prefer a homemade sugar free ice cream to a store bought one, what with the control over the ingredients and the lack of additional preservatives, etc.

But then I am someone who struggles with weight and portion control (if one's good, ten's better!)--for ice cream there is not 2-3 tablespoons, only cups or none at all.

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Yes, it's because of blood sugar issues. I'm not quite diabetic but I get along much better without sugar. I wouldn't choose artificial sweeteners otherwise--I like my food natural, and of the highest quality. And when I make it at home, the quality is much better than store bought low-sugar ice cream. It's great when I have it fresh, so maybe the answer is just smaller batches.

Even when it gets too hard, it can be softened before eating, just takes a while. Or used as an ingredient in smoothies.

Lee, thanks for the information. That gives me something to think about.

I mixed up a batch tonight of vanilla ice cream made with cornstarch and no eggs, just for variety. I used half of the sugar called for and a little Splenda to taste. I'll be freezing it tonight so I'll see how it works.

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Maltitol would be a better alternative than Splenda for a frozen dessert. It provides the bulk that Lee mentioned and depresses the freezing point. In a crystal format, it is used 1:1 to replace sugar. It's also available in a syrup, which might provide a better texture. Commercial manufacturers often use maltitol and sorbital. While, I do not like artificial sweeteners at all, maltitol would be a better choice as sobital is not as well tolerated by the gut.

I'm curious as to why you left the eggs out of your mix today.

Let us know how it turns out.

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Oh, I just used a recipe that had cornstarch instead of eggs. I guess that would make it more of a gelato, but I've never really figured out the exact difference, anyway.

I can't tolerate maltitol--I won't eat anything that has it. It's the worst of the sugar alcohols for unpleasant aftereffects. Erithrytol is supposed to be somewhat better, lactitol somewhere in the middle.

The ice cream turned out fine. Even with half the sugar I found it to be too sweet but it tasted okay. My husband really liked it. It didn't harden up too much, either.

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I remember why I don't like to use sugar at all for making ice cream--woke up this morning with a bad sugar hangover--vertigo, headache, nausea. So I'll have to go back to artificial sweeteners. I think my husband gets to eat the rest of it. I also prefer the eggs in ice cream to cornstarch--I like the custard, and it provides more protein to balance out the sweetness.

Has anyone successfully used protein powder in homemade ice cream? I saw a post recently about putting it in ganache and wondered how that worked out. It wouldn't be worth it if it turned out grainy or bad tasting.

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Industrial ice cream companies do it by adding "bulking agents" like polydextrose and other byproducts of the petroleum and wood-pulp industries that might make you reconsider your objections to sugar.

Polydextrose is a "byproduct of the petroleum and wood-pulp industry?!?" Do you have proof of this?

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I can't tolerate maltitol--I won't eat anything that has it.  It's the worst of the sugar alcohols for unpleasant aftereffects.  Erythritol is supposed to be somewhat better, lactitol somewhere in the middle.

Erythritol is a LOT better than 'somewhat better.' It's in an entirely different class. It's small molecular size causes it to be absorbed by the stomach and then release through urine. If it doesn't reach the intestines, it can't cause gastro-intestinal effects. Period.

The smaller the molecular size, btw, the better the freezing point depression. This make erythritol an ideal candidate for sugar free ice cream. It does have crystallization issues so I'd recommend using erythritol in conjunction with a crystallization inhibitor, such as polydextrose, or, if you can handle the sugar, a little corn syrup.

Isomalt is slightly less laxating and lower glycemic than maltitol. A combination of erythritol and isomalt might work nicely.

I use/love polydextrose in just about all of my sugar free desserts. It's far less laxating than sugar alchohols, far cheaper, and lower in carbs.


Edited by scott123 (log)

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Industrial ice cream companies do it by adding "bulking agents" like polydextrose and other byproducts of the petroleum and wood-pulp industries that might make you reconsider your objections to sugar.

Polydextrose is a "byproduct of the petroleum and wood-pulp industry?!?" Do you have proof of this?

And why would that matter anyway?


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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While, I do not like artificial sweeteners at all, maltitol would be a better choice as sobital is not as well tolerated by the gut. 

Neither maltitol or sorbitol are artificial sweeteners. Both are plant derivatives.

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Industrial ice cream companies do it by adding "bulking agents" like polydextrose and other byproducts of the petroleum and wood-pulp industries that might make you reconsider your objections to sugar.

Polydextrose is a "byproduct of the petroleum and wood-pulp industry?!?" Do you have proof of this?

And why would that matter anyway?

It would matter because

1. The statement is false

2. The statement maligns polydextrose

If Lee is going to slander one of my favorite sugar free confectionary/baking ingredients, I'm going to ask for proof of his outrageous claim.

That's why it would matter.

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Industrial ice cream companies do it by adding "bulking agents" like polydextrose and other byproducts of the petroleum and wood-pulp industries that might make you reconsider your objections to sugar.

Polydextrose is a "byproduct of the petroleum and wood-pulp industry?!?" Do you have proof of this?

And why would that matter anyway?

It would matter because

1. The statement is false

2. The statement maligns polydextrose

If Lee is going to slander one of my favorite sugar free confectionary/baking ingredients, I'm going to ask for proof of his outrageous claim.

That's why it would matter.

I think you misunderstood me. I was asking, why would it matter if it were true that polydextrose were in fact a byproduct of some industrial process? I don't see how that fact, assuming it is a fact, would or should prompt one to reconsider using it. In my mind, the important facts about polydextrose are its intrinsic properties -- how sweet it is, its nutritive value, how it affects texture and freezing, etc., not how it happens to be produced or what precursors it is produced from.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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While, I do not like artificial sweeteners at all, maltitol would be a better choice as sobital is not as well tolerated by the gut. 

Neither maltitol or sorbitol are artificial sweeteners. Both are plant derivatives.

Sorbitol and other polyols are certainly produced naturally, but I think some of the commerical stuff is actually synthesized. I think most sorbitol is actually produced by hydrogenating corn-derived glucose.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I certainly didn't mean to offend any polydextrose fans out there. My sentence probably should have read "...polydextrose and byproducts of the petroleum and wood-pulp industries." My original post unintentionally and unfairly lumped polydextrose with wood and petroleum by-products. Still, I can't help but be suspicious of ingredients designed by chemists to pass through the GI tract undigested.

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Just for fun, I've copied the ingredient list for Blue Bunny's no-fat, no-sugar-added, vanilla ice cream from their website. What could be more healthy than fat-free and sugar-free?

INGREDIENTS: Contains:Fat Free Milk, Polydextrose, Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Whey Protein Concentrate, Glycerine, Grade A Whey, Carob Bean Gum, Mono & Diglycerides*, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Corn Starch, Polysorbate 80, Carrageenan, Vanilla Extract, Vanillin, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Vitamin A Palmitate, Annatto (for color). Attention Diabetics: Contains Carbohydrates Naturally Occurring In Milk. * Adds a Dietarily Insignificant Amount of Fat

NOTE: Excessive Consumption May Have a Laxative Effect in Sensitive Persons. :blink:

You should see the stuff they market to kids! The tobacco industry ain't got nothing on them!

Sorry, I'm in a cantankerous mood today.

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You should see the stuff they market to kids!  The tobacco industry ain't got nothing on them!

Sure, except for that minor bit about tobacco smoking, you know, killing millions of people with cancer, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I'm not planning to use any tobacco in my ice cream, so no worries!

I meant to say that erythritol and maltitol are sugar alcohols. And there is a big difference between the two. Erythritol does produce a cooling sensation on the tongue, which shouldn't be a problem in ice cream. I actually have some of that and some polydextrose so I might give it a shot.

Here is a quote from a place that produces erythritol:

Erythritol exists naturally at low levels in many fruits and fermented foods such as grapes, melon, mushrooms, soy sauce, cheese, wine and beer. The per capita consumption from its natural occurrence is estimated to be somewhere between 30 and 100 mg/person/day.

Cerestar manufactures erythritol through an entirely natural fermentation process.

Another quote, this one about polydextrose:

Polydextrose is a multi-purpose additive synthesized from dextrose (glucose), plus about 10 percent sorbitol and 1 percent citric acid. It is commonly used as a replacement for sugar, starch, and fat in commercial cakes, candies, dessert mixes, gelatins, frozen desserts, puddings, and salad dressings. The amount of polydextrose used can vary depending on the type of product, examples include frozen dessert, 13 to 14 percent; puddings, 8 to 9 percent; and cake 15 to 16 percent.

Oh, and the ice cream I made last night is now frozen solid, even though it was made with some sugar. So I might as well just use the other stuff.

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