Ice cream essence is a highly concentrated flavour extracted onto an alcohol base or synthesised artificially using chemical compounds. Artificial essence is simply chemical mixtures that mimic a natural flavor in some way. Anything that we smell has to contain some sort of volatile chemical -- a chemical that evaporates and enters a person's nose. Most ice cream is purchased by the consumer on basis of flavour and ingredients. There are many different flavours of ice cream manufactured, and to some extent limited only by imagination. Vanilla accounts for 30% of the ice cream consumed. This is partly because it is used in so many products, like milkshakes, sundaes, banana splits, in addition to being consumed with pies, desserts, etc . Ice cream essences are added to ice cream in four ways during the manufacturing process:
1. Mix Tank: for liquid flavors, colors, fruit purees, flavored syrup bases Ð anything that will be homogeneously distributed in the frozen ice cream.
2. Variegating Pump: for ribbons, swirls, ripples, revels
3. Ingredient Feeder: for particulates - fruits, nuts, candy pieces, cookies, etc., some complex flavors may utilize 2 feeders
4. Shaker table: for large inclusions
Vanilla ice cream essence
Vanilla is without exception the most popular flavour for Ice Cream. Vanilla comes from a plant belonging to the orchid family called Vanilla planifolia. It is a very important ice cream ingredient, not only in vanilla ice cream, but in many other flavours where it is used as a flavor enhancer, e.g. chocolate much improved by presence of vanilla.
Chocolate and Cocoa ice cream essence-This ice cream mix is added to the vat and homogenized with the rest of the mix.
Fruit ice cream essence- as the name suggests, Fruit flavored ice cream essence are used to make fruity ice creams, usually in combination with fresh fruit extracts.
How to select
The essence should be food grade and lie in adherence to the international standards for food. Generally, the delicate, mild essence are easily blended and tend not to become objectionable at high concentrations, while harsh essence are usually objectionable even in low concentrations, so, it is preferable to go for mild ones.
· Ice cream essence is used to predominantly flavour milk shakes , beverages and ice creams
· They also produce a distinct flavor in desserts and sauces.
· Use pure ice cream essence to flavor sorbets, souffle, puddings, pies, syrup and chocolate sauce.
How to store
The essence is usually stored in dark coloured bottles, kept away from heat or direct sunlight. They can also be refrigerated.
· Since ice cream essence is usually synthetic and produced to add flavours artificially, they do not contain any substantial health benefits.