Milk and milk products form an important part of the ice cream mix. Fresh milk is composed of fat (about 3.5%), protein, lactose (milk sugar) and minerals. These last three constituents are known as serum solids or milk solids non-fat and make up about 9.0% of fresh milk. The balance is almost entirely water.

Milk can be handled in several forms and the following table summarises the average consumptions of the various milk products that can be used. These figures are given as a guide only, and may vary from sample to sample.

Milk Product % Fat % Milk Solids % Water
Fresh milk 3.5 9.0 87.5
Full cream milk powder 26.0 71.0 3.0
Skim milk powder 1.0 95.0 4.0
Condensed skim milk (24% MSNF) 0.5 24.0 75.5
Condensed skim milk (33% MSNF) 0.5 33.0 66.5
Cream (50% fat) 50.0 4.5 45.5

The inclusion of milk solids non-fat in an ice cream mix has the effect of improving the texture and body, allowing a higher overrun to be obtained without the formation of a flaky or fluffy texture. Too high a proportion of milk-solids-non-fat will tend to produce a sandiness in the texture due the formation of lactose crystals; lactose is a sugar present in milk which is less soluble than sucrose. There is also a danger that overheating the milk will result in a cooked flavour in the final product.

It is important that best quality milk products are obtained for best flavour results and that the materials are carefully stored. Ideal conditions vary according to the type of milk product in use, and it is suggested that the supplier is consulted if further information is required.

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