Effect of fat content on the physical properties and consumer acceptability of vanilla ice cream

M. Laura Rolon, Alyssa J. Bakke, John N. Coupland, John E. Hayes, Robert F. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Ice cream is a complex food matrix that contains multiple physical phases. Removal of 1 ingredient may affect not only its physical properties but also multiple sensory characteristics that may or may not be important to consumers. Fat not only contributes to texture, mouth feel, and flavor, but also serves as a structural element. We evaluated the effect of replacing fat with maltodextrin (MD) on select physical properties of ice cream and on consumer acceptability. Vanilla ice creams were formulated to contain 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14% fat, and the difference was made up with 8, 6, 4, 2, and 0% maltodextrin, respectively, to balance the mix. Physical characterization included measurements of overrun, apparent viscosity, fat particle size, fat destabilization, hardness, and melting rate. A series of sensory tests were conducted to measure liking and the intensity of various attributes. Tests were also conducted after 19 weeks of storage at −18°C to assess changes in acceptance due to prolonged storage at unfavorable temperatures. Then, discrimination tests were performed to determine which differences in fat content were detectable by consumers. Mix viscosity decreased with increasing fat content and decreasing maltodextrin content. Fat particle size and fat destabilization significantly increased with increasing fat content. However, acceptability did not differ significantly across the samples for fresh or stored ice cream. Following storage, ice creams with 6, 12, and 14% fat did not differ in acceptability compared with fresh ice cream. However, the 8% fat, 6% MD and 10% fat, 4% MD ice creams showed a significant drop in acceptance after storage relative to fresh ice cream at the same fat content. Consumers were unable to detect a difference of 2 percentage points in fat level between 6 and 12% fat. They were able to detect a difference of 4 percentage points for ice creams with 6% versus 10%, but not for those with 8% versus 12% fat. Removing fat and replacing it with maltodextrin caused minimal changes in physical properties in ice cream and mix and did not change consumer acceptability for either fresh or stored ice cream.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5217-5227
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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