Why are Emulsifiers Used in Ice cream?

    Image of an Ice Cream

    Manufacturers make ice creams using ingredients with higher fats. If once it melts, water and oil will separate. Losing structure can also cause damage to taste. Emulsifiers in ice creams play the role of drier to keep their shape and texture smoother. In this way, resistance against rapid meltdown increases.

    What Do Emulsifiers Do?

    Emulsifiers reduce the interfacial tension between both substances so mixing becomes easier. At the same time, one can understand why emulsifiers are used in ice creams as a magical ingredient. Water and oil are one of the most important ingredients in ice creams. Other than maintaining the structure and taste of ice cream, emulsifiers in ice cream also offer many health benefits.

    Health Benefits

    Listeria (name of a bacteria) grows with the melting of ice cream. Its consumption can cause illness in the human body. Meanwhile, emulsifiers boost immunity and make your bones strong.

    Common Types of Food Emulsifiers

    After knowing the functioning and health benefits of emulsifiers, let us now discuss some different types of emulsifiers.


    There is wide use of lecithin in the baking industry. There are many fatty compounds in its composition as we find in eggs. Lecithin contains phospholipids that possess emulsifying properties. This property saves water from splitting oil particles. Because of this emulsifier droplets of oil in the water remain safe. So, the shelf life and stability of food increase. Other than this emulsifier in ice cream saves from high cholesterol and improves muscle and brain functioning.

    Fatty Acid Derivatives

    Those emulsifiers which we get from fatty acids are called Fatty Acid Derivatives. There are numerous emulsifiers but we will mention those which are commonly used in the market. Names of those are given below:

    • Polyglycerol Esters
    • Polysorbates
    • Stearoyl lactylates
    • Propylene Glycol Esters
    • Source Esters

    Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate (PGPR)

    Polyglycerol is mostly used to add more thickness to chocolates and also for increasing their volume. After adding PGPR to chocolate coatings flow becomes satisfactory.

    Manufacturing companies prefer PGPR for maintaining the viscosity and smoothness of chocolates and other products. Meanwhile, this makes baking a loving activity.

    Ammonium Phosphatide (AMP)

    Ammonium Phosphatide is one of the basic components in manufacturing confectionery. It is highly efficacious in maintaining uniformity of mixture in high-quality food. It helps in maintaining food fresh.

    Mono and Diglycerides

    Monoglycerides possess the unique quality of managing masses of fats. When molecules of the water start spreading the monoglycerides play a role of an instrument that makes distribution in a fair manner in the oil.

    Role of Emulsifiers in Ice Creams

    The components of emulsifiers play a vital role in creating a bond between fats and water. Without the use of emulsifiers mixing water and fat would not be possible. If it happens, both substances will split in a few moments. Emulsifiers do not let this separation happen.

    In this article, we are especially talking about emulsifiers in ice cream and specifically why are emulsifiers used in ice creams, here mentioning creamy consistency is important. This shape consists because of emulsifiers. Otherwise, without these, it would have become a watery ice-phased mixture. Let us discuss some basic functions of emulsifiers in ice creams.

    • Reduce aging time and promote nucleation of fat.
    • Emulsifiers exhibit the improved whipping ability of the mixture and ice cream distributes homogenous air because of their functions.
    • Production of dry and stiff types of ice creams becomes possible because of emulsifiers. Because these can improve fat destabilization and fancy extrusion.
    • Resistance of ice creams increases against icy textures because of emulsifiers.
    • We get a smooth product with complete finishing.

    Food Items as Emulsifier

    There are many food items that we consume in our routine without knowing that these are also Ice cream emulsifiers. Egg Yolks are on the top of the list of those and it contains lecithin. Meanwhile, you can also use milk as an emulsifier because of the amount of protein present in it.

    How do Emulsifiers work?

    Emulsifiers contain molecules with amphiphilic properties. They have a tendency to get into a favorable position, depending on energy. Emulsifiers then reduce surface tension between phases resulting in instability.

    Usage Level of Emulsifiers Vary

    The usage level of emulsifiers depends on the type and formulation of ice cream. Some ice creams require a very little number of emulsifiers because those which contain lecithin would be the primary ingredient e.g., eggs. Meanwhile, frosting ice creams need a greater number of emulsifiers to get desired results.

    Different Functions of Emulsifiers

    Enabling a mixture of fat and water is the basic function of emulsifiers. But as products change their functions and advantages increase. Bakery owners use some amount of water for baking bread. Here emulsifiers play their role of dough conditioner and increase loaf volume. Thus, the stability of the product improves.

    Side Effects and Preventions

    Though many researchers and scientists have recognized that the consumption of emulsifiers is safe. But still, along with the many benefits of emulsifiers, there are some risks to using them. We will discuss some risks and preventions to save ourselves from adverse reactions.

    Side Effects

    Emulsifiers such as lecithin, gum, and guar can cause some health issues if you consume them in abundance. These can cause digestive issues such as bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Furthermore, the category of emulsifiers comes in food additives. One should consume it in smaller quantities. Otherwise, it can cause inflammation in the gut.


    First of all, read the ingredients of the product before consuming it. Give preference to that ice cream that uses less amount of food additives. If you consume on a daily basis then it is better to reduce the amount of consumption.


    The main purpose of using emulsifiers in ice creams is to provide a good structure and maintain their flavor. Emulsifiers combine those elements which cannot mix like water and oil.

    Moreover, consuming emulsifiers in an appropriate amount gives many health benefits. We obtain starches, pectin, and guar gum naturally. These help in the management of sugar levels in the blood and cholesterol.

    Meanwhile, sunflower lecithin has very less risk of side effects. Other than this, one cannot genetically modify an organic emulsifier and its extraction process is also easier than other food additives. 

    While talking about why are ice cream emulsifiers used, talking about those which we get from egg yolks or soy. For finding the best local shops visit the free business directory CityLocal 101