The ability of propylene glycol monostearate (PGMS) to prevent ice recrystallisation in ice creams is “quite dramatic”, says new research from Canada.
According to findings published in the Journal of Food Science, the ingredient was even able to reduce the size of ice crystals in fresh ice cream samples.
The study appears to support the use of the ingredient in ice creams, an application that was recently patented by Danisco.
PGMS is already extensively used in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries, with its food uses mostly being as an emulsifier in cakes mixes and aerated toppings, wrote the researchers from the University of Guelph.
“According to [Danisco’s] patent, the addition of PGMS to ice cream formulations generates a product with smaller ice crystals and greater stability against recrystallisation during storage and distribution,” they wrote.
“However, there have been no published studies on the ability of PGMS to inhibit ice recrystallisation outside of the work in the patent or a clear explanation of its mechanism of action.”
In order to redress this apparent knowledge gap, the Guelph-based scientists formulated ice creams with (0.3 per cent, Danisco), with PGMS and Polmo (an emulsifier blend of 80 per cent mono- and di-glycerides and 20 per cent polysorbate 80, Danisco), or only Polmo (0.15 per cent).
The researchers report that the sizes of the ice crystal in ice cream were significantly reduced with the addition of PGMS. The ingredient also reduced the size of ice crystals in a frozen sucrose solution
On the other hand, the ingredient was ineffective in quiescently frozen solutions, as is used in popsicles or ice lollies.
As an emulsifier, however, the researchers report that PGMS exhibited only limited emulsifier properties.
“There was strong evidence to suggest that PGMS directly interacts with ice crystals and interferes with normal surface propagation,” wrote the researchers.
Ice cream market
Ice cream is leading growth in the global market for innovative dairy products as consumers increasingly associate the segment as being more of an everyday, year-round household grocery, according to a recent report by Global Industry Analysts.
The report expects that the global ice cream market will witness a growing number of flavour introductions as part of a shift towards premium products.
Opportunities are also expected for niche segments like lower-fat ice creams, as well as advances in processing methods involving low-temperature freezing and product blending.
Source: Journal of Food Science
Published online ahead of print, Online Early, doi: doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00954.x
“Ice Recrystallization Inhibition in Ice Cream by Propylene GlycolMonostearate”
Authors: J.M. Aleong, S. Frochot, H.D. Goff