Ice Cream and Nutrition

Artisan Ice Creams since 1990
Where nutrition is concerned, artisan ice cream offers many benefits. In general, ice cream consists of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals (calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, etc.). Those made with cream or milk, as well as some frozen desserts, also provide lipid- or fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Also notable is the presence of vitamin B2, or riboflavin, an essential element for tissue growth.

Artisan Ice Creams since 1990
Given that the ingredients used in artisanal ice cream are:

In fruit ice creams: Fruit juices or pulp, sugars, water. These ice creams are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and present an average of 100 calories per 100 grams.

In cream-based ice creams: Milk, cream, sugars and, in some cases, egg yolks, dried fruits, chocolate, jams, yoghurt and spices such as vanilla, cinnamon, etc... These ice creams are rich in carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and are low fat (never more than 8%). They present an average of 180 calories per 100 grams.

Another important nutritional aspect of ice cream is that, as everybody knows, it aids digestion. This is due to their low temperature, which cools the higher temperatures produced by the fatty acids.

There are three categories of artisanal ice cream:

ICE CREAM: 'Ice cream' is understood to mean all ice creams that contain milk.

MANTECADO: 'Mantecado' is understood to mean all ice cream that, in addition to milk, contains egg.

SORBET: 'Sorbet' is understood to mean all ice cream that contains water but neither milk nor eggs.

The first question we have to ask ourselves is why anyone would want to eat a sugar-free ice cream! One of the most common reasons given is 'peration bikini', which concerns many of us, especially in the summer months. Here in Arrivati we would like to advise these people that it is healthier to consume ice creams that contain (regular) sugar and, as far calories are concerned, remind them that ice creams and mantecados contain milk and cream and/or eggs, meaning they contain fat, and fat contains more than double the calories of sugar: 4 Kcal for each gram of sugar versus 9 Kcal for each gram of fat. For these reasons we recommend consuming fruit sorbets, not consuming the cones, and much less fancy, chocolate-lovers' extravaganzas.

The other, and far more important reason, is due to conditions such as diabetes, one of the most serious and incurable conditions affecting people today as it undermines the quality of life of those who suffer it without causing any real discomfort. Some of the more serious consequences of the disease are blindness and loss of limbs. At Gelateria Arrivati we have carried out research into the production of sugar-free ice cream and have published several articles in specialist ice cream-sector magazines. In making sugar-free ice cream some manufacturers merely substitute sugar for fructose, as it was previously believed that fructose was harmless to diabetics. Today, however, numerous diabetics' associations affirm that fructose, in the absence of other sugars, behaves in the same way. As a result, discarding the substitution of fructose, we have to resort to other products that have the same effect as sugar on the final product.

On the one hand, sugar in ice cream has two properties, one of which is keeping the ice cream soft at below-zero temperatures, for which we could conceivably use polyols (sugars derived from alcohols, such as sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, mannitol, etc.). For their laxative effects, the Ministry of Health recommends controlled use of these substances.

The other property is the characteristic sweetness of ice cream. As polyols provide little or no sweetness, artificial sweeteners are required, such as saccharine, aspartame, Ace K, etc. These products are also regulated by the Ministry of Health and are limited for human consumption due to their being perjudicial to health. For the majority of these products the use of more than 0.5 grams of product for each kilo of weight of the consumer is prohibited and consumption by children is totally prohibited.

In Arrivati we have recently begun to use Stevia, a natural sweetener that comes from the South American plant Stevia rebaudiana and is the only sweetener on the market that does not increase the blood glucose level and, in addition, does not contain calories.

Gluten-free ice cream for coeliac sufferers

Another nutrition-related dysfunction is gluten intolerance, or coeliac disease. Gluten is a protein that is present in five classes of cereals, one of which, wheat, is very commonly used. As a result, coeliac sufferers should not consume any of the myriad products that contain wheat. Gluten is also used as a thickener in some products such as chocolates, jams, etc.

Artisan Ice Creams since 1990
While the manufacture of ice cream does not require the use of gluten and, as such, ice creams do not contain gluten, we must in any case check the composition of all the products used in our manufacturing process in order to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. That said, there are products external to the making of ice cream that do contain gluten, such as cones, biscuits or pieces that are added at the end of the process such as cookies or chocolate chips, and for this reason we have a special serving scoop with a red marker that is exclusively used for our coeliac-suffering customers.