Using Flow Meters for Aeration in Ice Cream Production

December 21, 2021 Vera Brokking
air flow meters for aeration in ice cream

Ice cream… for most people the classic summer treat. But ice cream also gains popularity as dessert for the holiday season. Did you know that flow meters are used to get this tasteful treat? Air flow meters play a role in ice cream production, more specific, in the aeration process. Indeed…. to add air!

Air flow meters for the aeration process

Ice cream contains many different ingredients, such as fat, sugar, milk solids and flavourings. But there is one main ingredient that you may not have thought about, probably because you can’t see it….air. Ice cream is made by freezing and simultaneously blending air into the ingredients. So why is air so important?

Ice cream production process with air flow meter

You probably tasted it… melted ice. It has become a liquid smurry. And no matter what you do, even if you put it in the freezer, it will not become as creamy and tasteful as before. What is missing? Indeed… air. Air makes up anywhere from 30% to 50% of the total volume of ice cream, therefore, aeration in the production process is crucial.

The amount of air in ice cream (often called overrun) affects the taste, texture and appearance of the finished product. Higher aeration will produce a tastier and smoother ice cream. A side effect of adding air to ice cream is that it tends to melt more quickly. Thus, for attaining an optimal structure, it is important to have a stable inlet air flow in the production process with a constant cream/air ratio. This can be achieved by using a mass flow meter.

ice cream microstructure
Ice cream microstructure

To get a better idea on the effect of air on ice cream, you can think of whipped cream. Whipped cream – basically cream with air - has a different texture and taste than plain cream. To learn more about this process, please read the story of our guest blogger Hans-Georg Frenzel, from Hansa Mixer, where he explains how air is used to create whipped cream.

Are you interested in more air flow meter solutions and examples? Check our customer application stories about: aeration in fish farming, aeration control in effluent treatment or read here more about air flow meters for aeration process in the food & beverage industry.

To find out which flow meters are ideal for you to use for your aeration process, have a look at our application story regarding ice cream aeration.

Video how the air flow meter works

And… when you enjoy your Christmas dinner next week, and have a delicious ice cream dessert, be sure to think of us.

On behalf of the entire Bronkhorst Team I wish you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Would you like more information about air flow meters/controllers?

Application note: Ice cream process Ask for advice