After cooling, the mix is held with mild agitation in ageing vats at a temperature below 45°F for a period of time. This period varies but is generally at least 4 hours and up to 12 days. If the mix is frozen immediately after homogenisation and cooling, it tends to be thin and the resulting ice cream may have a low overrun.

Many changes occur during ageing but during this period, the fat globules solidify, some stabilisers combine with the water and swell and the protein structure may be modified. As a result of these factors, the viscosity of the mix increases and this results in improved whipping properties and good body to finish the ice cream. With modern stabilisers this occurs very rapidly, but time is required for the fat to crystallise.

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