Researchers with the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service found freeze-dried strawberry powder is an excellent stabilizer for ice cream and other frozen dairy desserts. According to an ARS release, the ingredient is so effective that frozen desserts with freeze-dried strawberry or raspberry powder retained their shape even after reaching room temperature.
Most stabilizers commonly used today — sodium alginate, guar gum, iota carrageenan, xanthan gum and carboxymethyl cellulose — can cause negative consumer reactions when they appear on ice cream labels, the ARS said, so freeze-dried fruit powders could be a cleaner-label solution.
Ice cream made without some type of stabilizer may turn crunchy because of ice crystals, which can occur with temperature changes in the machine or freezer, the agency noted. Stabilizers are used to limit melting, keep whey from leaking out, prevent shrinkage during storage and enhance a creamy mouthfeel, ARS added.