By: Ir. Hendra Utama, MM. (LPPOM MUI Senior Halal Auditor)
Ice cream is a combination of joy and taste exploration. Ice cream connoisseurs really understand a taste. For them, ice cream is not just a product, but also a part of life, a separate lifestyle. They undergo a process of love for this clot product, with joy. Like many people who love chocolate, enjoy the taste sensation, and make it a part of the fun. Lick for licks leaves its own impression.
Ice cream connoisseurs know no age, social status, place of residence, or citizenship. The late US president, Washington, and Thomas Jefferson were fans of ice cream in his lifetime. The development of ice cream manufacturing technology also helps spread consumers throughout the world. In the past, when there was no refrigerator, ice was taken in winter, stored in a place so it would not be liquid, and used in the summer. Or, it could also be taken at the top of a mountain where there is still ice, taken to the city, coupled with certain ingredients such as fruit juice, sugar, enjoyed like we enjoy ice mixed.
Because there are so many ice cream eaters, ice cream sellers are also very happy. From street vendors to restaurants in star hotels. From home industries to multinational companies. The quality of ice cream is adjusted to the price and target market.
Ice cream, grouped into dairy products, because indeed the biggest part of the constituent of ice cream is ingredients derived from milk. As the name implies, called ice cream because it is cream in the product that falls into this dessert category (dessert). Creams, as I once mentioned in the words “Say cheese”, are milk fat. The price of ice cream depends on the content of the cream or fat. Usually in percentage terms, ranging between 10% and 18%. Products with an economical price category have around 10% milk fat, standard prices have milk fat content of 10-12%, premium prices around 12-15%, and super premiums between 15% and 18%.
The function of milk fat in ice cream is to enrich taste. In addition, it also has a role in creating a soft texture. An equally important role is to provide a “body” and good lubrication characteristics. In industrial processes, it also has a lubricating effect on the container. This is contrary to the nature of nonfat ingredients in ice cream products, which tend to be hard in freezing equipment.
Restricted use of milk fat for several reasons. First, price considerations. Second, high calories. Third, limiting the wealth of excessive taste. For various reasons, sometimes the cream is replaced with butter or butter oil (butter oil or anhydrous milk fat). In fact, some products are replaced with non-milk-based fats, such as the use of coconut milk for example.
In addition to milk fat, other ingredients used in making ice cream are non-fat dairy solids (milk solid non-fat). Materials included in this category are lactose (carbohydrate), casein and whey (protein) and minerals. The function of the protein in ice cream is to improve the development of structures including the process of forming emulsions, the nature of “whipping”, the ability to hold water so that it increases viscosity and decreases ice crystal formation. Minerals in the form of salts such as sodium citrate and disodium phosphate are useful in providing a “wet” effect on ice cream. While other mineral salts such as calcium phosphate have a “dry” effect on ice cream.
Sweet taste, very desired by consumers of ice cream. Ingredients that play a role in sweetness are called sweeteners. Usually, in the ice cream industry, the ingredients commonly used as sweeteners are sugar and liquid sugar (eg glucose or fructose). Sweeteners are responsible for improving taste. In addition, sweeteners can reduce the freezing point, so that there is water that is not frozen at the ice cream storage temperature (-15 until -18 Celcius degrees). The effect, ice cream is easier to spoon.
In addition, to increase the stability of ice cream, crystals are not formed, ice during storage, stabilizers are needed. Stabilizers commonly used are gum (locust bean gum, guar gum, xanthan gum), carrageenan, CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose), sodium alginate, and gelatin. Each material has its own properties, sometimes two or three ingredients are combined to produce the desired ice cream properties.
An important ingredient in ice cream is an emulsifier. Emulsifiers are materials that can bind water and fat at once. In the past, people had the proverb ‘like water and oil’, meaning that they would never be able to unite. But the emulsifier can combine water and fat or oil. This proverb is also obsolete because of the existence of emulsifiers. If there is no emulsifier, the water and fat in the ice cream can be separated during storage. The ingredients commonly used as emulsifiers are egg yolks, mono-/di-glyceride, and polysorbate 80. These ingredients help the solubility of the ice cream ingredient.
Haram Critical Point
A statement that many people who like ice cream are indisputable. Just by looking at the picture, the ice cream can make saliva out. Or, as a source of nutrients for fat, protein, carbohydrates, and calcium, for our children, it feels like we will agree. However, as a good Muslim, we must also understand that there are ingredients that can also come from materials that are not clearly halal status. Especially for multinational producers, who do not include considerations of halalness in their production processes.
The ingredients that need to be questioned are lactose, whey protein concentrate (WPC) or whey powder, casein, gelatin (stabilizer), mono-/di-glyceride and polysorbate 80 (emulsifier) ??and flavor.
Lactose, WPC, whey powder, and casein, sides products of the cheese industry. In the article ‘Say Cheese’ I’ve mentioned the use of rennin enzymes in the process of cheese clotting. If the enzyme used is not from halal material (for example pork or cattle that are not slaughtered in an Islamic manner), then this cheese derivative (lactose, WPC, whey powder, casein) automatically becomes contaminated with haram and unclean ingredients. So that ice cream that uses this ingredient becomes haram too.
Moreover, the use of gelatin derived from bone and animal skin that is not clearly halal status. Forty percent of the world’s gelatin production is produced from pork skin, the rest from cows, buffaloes, yachts, and fish. If from cows, buffaloes, or yachts, the slaughter status must also be clear. Halal or not?
Mono-/di-glyceride and polysorbate 80, sourced from fat. When talking about fat, it must be ascertained whether it is animal or vegetable. If animals have to follow the precepts, they are not from illegitimate animals and slaughtered in an Islamic way.
To enrich the taste, ice cream is present in front of the eyes of consumers, rarely in taste. There is a flavor that must be added. If it comes from natural fruit flavors such as fruit juice, it might be relatively safe. But if it comes from the flavor produced by the flavor house, who can assure the halal. Even though the flavor is claimed as a nature-identical or artificial flavor. There is also a flavor that is popular, but it should be further away from rum and raisin. Because there is a content of khamarnya (rum). Even if it’s not rum, but it comes from the rum essence, it must also be removed from the desire to buy it. Because as a preventive measure, don’t get used to consuming products that are sensory (taste, smell) that resemble haram products. So, try to always consume halal-certified ice cream, besides soft on the tongue, it also makes your heart comfortable.