The Differences Between Ice Cream And Gelato

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Do you know the difference between ice cream and gelato? Both are wonderfully creamy and delicious frozen desserts, but the differences in ingredients and production method result in some differences in the finished product. The main differences between ice cream and gelato are fat content, ingredients, air content, and temperature.

Differences of the fat content in ice cream and gelato

One of the basics of ice cream composition is the fat content. The minimum requirement set by the FDA for ice cream states that it must have at least ten percent milkfat by weight. While there is no FDA definition for gelato, in Italy, it must meet a 3.5 percent milkfat requirement. The differences in the amount of milkfat is due to differences in ingredients. Ice cream contains more cream than milk, which contains more fat. Gelato uses whole milk as the main ingredient, which means it contains more milk than cream.

Ingredient differences between ice cream and gelato

Although the basic ingredient difference between ice cream and gelato relates to cream and milk, there are some other differences as well. The amount of sugar or other sweetener is largely dependent on what flavor of frozen dessert you order and what toppings are served with it. Using the basic product, gelato will usually contain a little less sugar content. Sugar content can affect how the dessert freezes, and since gelato is not as hard as ice cream, it requires less.

Ice cream also commonly uses eggs in the base to stabilize the product, containing up to 1.4 percent egg yolk per FDA regulations. If the product contains more than 1.4 percent egg yolk, it must be labeled frozen custard. Gelato generally does not contain any egg, although custard based flavors of the frozen dessert do contain the ingredient.

Differences between the air content within ice cream and gelato

During the freezing process, air is incorporated into ice cream and increases the volume, giving it a fluffier texture. Cheaply made versions of the dessert often have around fifty percent of the volume as air. Premium ice creams contain more milkfat and more milk solids, so there is much less room for air, resulting in a denser, creamier product. While gelato has a different texture, it is also a denser and creamier product and contains much less air. Gelato is churned at a slower speed and the final product is typically twenty-five to thirty percent air.

Differences between the temperatures of ice cream and gelato

Because gelato is softer than regular ice cream and does not undergo an additional hardening step, it is stored and served at a warmer temperature. This temperature is usually somewhere between hard ice cream and soft serve, around the ten to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit range.

No matter which dessert you choose, ice cream and gelato can both make the perfect treat. If you would like more information about KaleidoScoops premium ice cream products, call us today at (877) 426-8488. Get The Scoop on becoming part of the KaleidoScoops cooperative. You can also connect with us via email by clicking on Contact Us.