Toxic Ingredients in Ice Creams


This article is written following my recent experiments on ice-cream making. As I am against processed food and genetically modified ingredients, I did some research on stabiliser that was one of ingredients recommended in the recipe and what I found was really shocking. Children love ice creams but the more I think about about how the industry has been shaped these days make me feel so sad. How could we feed the next generation with ingredients that are so toxic and deadly? While company is supposed to make money but it also depends on us to either ban or support such unethical manufacturing process. In general, I do not buy processed products with ingredients of more than 3 and refrain to buy those that are using name that I am not familiar with.

Stabiliser/emulsifier

Overrun is the percentage increase in volume of ice cream greater than the amount of mix used to produce that ice cream. If the ice cream you buy melts rapidly, that’s a good sign as it likely has a low overrun and little fat destabilisation, which means a lower percentage of toxic emulsifiers and stabilisers. When made with wholesome and natural ingredients, homemade ice cream will always melt quickly (like the one I made!) There is simply no healthy way to keep the fat from destabilising naturally.

Ice cream makers use an emulsifier that replaces the surface proteins and aids in forming the network. Egg yolks were originally used as this destabilising emulsifier, but now, ice-cream manufacturers use toxic substances such as mono- and diglycerides as well as the sorbitan ester Polysorbate 80.

Polysorbate 80 has been found to negatively affect the immune system and cause severe anaphylactic shock which can kill. Some studies also showed that Polysorbate 80 causes infertility.

Mono- and Diglycerides are widely used emulsifiers in food production. They are made from oils that have a high mono saturated fat content, but they are still hydrogenated. They are hidden trans fats where an alcohol (in this case glycerol) has been combined to form an emulsifying agent. No doubt that these are not nutritious in anyway but used to improve volume, uniform structure and develop the right meltdown characteristics. Regardless of their quantity, the inclusion of hydrogenated oils in any food product is only detrimental to our health and their adverse effects are well documented.

Carrageenan is another emulsifier and stabiliser. It comes from algae or seaweed extract common in the Atlantic Ocean. While it is often marketed as 100% vegetarian and natural, several studies on humans have demonstrated that digestive enzymes and bacterial action convert high weight carrageenans to dangerous low molecular weight carrageenans and poligeenans in the human gut. These, even at low doses, have been found to destroy human cells and are linked to various human cancers and digestive disorders. It has also been found to impair and depress cell-mediated immunity and cause the proliferation of tumour growth. The mechanism responsible for carrageenan-induced immune suppression is believed to be its selective degenerative effect on white blood cells.

Xanthan gum is produced by fermentation of glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. One of its most remarkable properties of is its capability of producing a large increase in the viscosity of any liquid by adding a very small quantity of gum, usually less than one percent. As a polysaccharide, one of the problems with this food additive is that it is typically made from corn. People who have corn allergies may not be aware that these additives can cause diverse reactions when consumed. In addition, a very large percentage of corn around the world is not genetically modified. Some people develop an allergy to conventional xanthan gum, with various gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Another possible reaction is migraine and skin itchiness. If the xanthan gum is not labeled as organic, avoid the product.

Guar gum is an emulsifier, a firming agent, a formulation aid, stabiliser, a thickener and even a plasticiser. It is a natural hydrocolloid that is obtained from the ground endosperm of the guar plant.When untreated ice cream melts and refreezes, grainy ice crystals often form. Guar gum has the natural ability to bind with water molecules, preventing them from forming the unwanted crystals. The gum functions dynamically and synergistically with xanthan gum by increasing the viscosity of ice cream. The guar gum would bind with liquids in the stomach and swell, causing a feeling of satisfying fullness. However, this mass of swollen guar gum would also cause dangerous intestinal and duodenal blockages, as well as abdominal cramps, nausea, flatulence and diarrhoea. Guar gum was declared unsafe and ineffective for use as a non-prescription diet aid, but then allowed in small doses in the food supply. Conventional and synthetic guar gum has been linked through studies to a high molecular weight agent that can cause occupational rhinitis and asthma. Its ingestion may also cause significant reduction in the absorption and bioavailability of calcium, iron and zinc. Organic guar gum containing a high quantity of soluble fiber can be a very good aid to both irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea. The soluble fiber present in organic guar gum dissolves in water through it is not digested. When fully organic, this natural laxative contains no harmful chemicals as found in synthetic and conventional versions and thus has no side effects.

Preservatives 

Postassium Sorbate is one of the most widely used preservatives in the food industry. It is not only recommended to avoid this chemical, it’s a necessity to eliminate it from our foods. Food and chemical toxicology reports have labeled potassium sorbate as a carcinogen, the cause of cancer, showing positive mutation results in the cells of mammals. Other studies have shown broad systemic and toxic effects on non-reproductive organs in animals.

Sodium Benzoate can convert into lethal carcinogenic poison when combined with absorbic acid. These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it.

Artificial Colours / Flavours

Blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5, yellow 6, red 3, red 40, and others are found in many types of ice cream, especially commercial varieties. Artificial flavor means it is derrived from a chemical made in a laboratory and has no nutritional value. When combined with sodium benzoate, these artificial colours increase levels of hyperactivity in preschool and older children with the general population. They have also been found to provoke asthma attacks and have links to thyroid tumours. Every single artificial colour in the food industry has some kind of detrimental health effect. These include neurotoxicity, organ, developmental, and reproductive toxicity and cancer.

I may say to stick on something that has lighter colour as it has less artificial colours used. I can tell for sure that it requires a lot of colouring agents to make macarons look nice! I proved it when I tried to make a black macaron! If you are trained well, you may even be able to smell the artificial flavours in any baked products, as they smell similar regardless of colour and they smell like chemical in laboratory!

Healthy sources of soy lecithin have many benefits and are a source of choline, that helps dissolve fat and cholesterol and can help regulate your kidney, liver and gallbladder function. However, similar to corn, a very large percentage of soy lecithin is produced from soy which is genetically modified and unfermented. Fermented soy is the soy fit for human consumption. Unfermented soy has been linked to digestive distress, immune system breakdown, PMS, endometriosis, reproductive problems for men and women, allergies, ADD, and ADHD, higher risk of heart disease and cancer, malnutrition and loss of libido.

Glace rhum raisin


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Rhum raisin ice-cream made from organic milk, fresh cream, vanilla beans, organic eggs yolk organic sugar, organic raisin soaked in rhum and rhum.

It was again very challenging given that I do not have ice-cream maker but it turned out well by whisking them several times every one hour. This ice-cream does not contain any toxic stabiliser and preservatives, so it is for kids and human consumption!

The container (pâte à croquignole) are made from butter, icing sugar, organic feed egg whites, organic unbleached flour and vanilla essence. I flatten them and immediately shape them in a small bowl so that can be used as a container for my ice cream.

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Sorbet à l’orange


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Sorbet is a frozen desert made from sweetened water with flavouring (typically fruit juice or fruit purée, wine, and/or liqueur). Sorbet is often confused with Italian ice and often taken to be the same as sherbet. Sorbets/sherbets may also contain alcohol, which lowers the freezing temperature, resulting in softer texture. In the UK and Australia, sherbet refers to a fizzy powder, and only the term sorbet would be used. Whereas ice cream is based on dairy products with air copiously whipped in, sorbet has neither, which makes for a dense and extremely flavourful product. Sorbet is served as a non-fat or low-fat alternative to ice cream. In Italy, a similar though crunchier textured dish called granita is made. As the liquid in granita freezes it forms noticeably large-size crystals, which are let unstirred. Granita is also often sharded with a fork to give an even crunchier texture when served.

It was challenging to make this desert as I refrain to use any chemical additives and thus I remove stabilisers and preservatives in the recipe and I do not use sorbetières. As orange juice sold in the market might have been heated and thus lost most of nutrients, I squeeze real oranges and adjust the sugar content (Baume degree) manually with organic sugar. Sure these ice cream is safe for kids.

Mousse au chocolat


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A cold desert that are hardened using fat (butter, cacao butter etc) rather than eggs like in the case of crème renversée au caramel or gelatin in Bavarois.

A mousse is a prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture. It can range from light and fluffy to creamy and thick, depending on preparation techniques. A mousse may be sweet or savoury. Desert mousses are typically made with whipped egg whites or whipped cream, and generally flavoured with chocolate or puréed fruit. For savoury mousse, hard boiled egg, fish or liver may be used. 

You can pipped the mousse into ramekin or tea cups or you can also put in glass container like puddings.

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Coconut Bar – Vegan and Raw


Raw Coconut Bar

Bliss for those who love the smell, flavour and essence of coconut. Perfect pre- or post-workout snack because coconut gives you long-lasting energy and helps slowly release the carbs in the sweetener. Coconut is superfood!

Coconut helps prevent obesity, improves heart health  high in dietary fiber, low glycemic index, reduces sweet cravings, improve digesting, quick energy boost. Coconut also contains no trans-fats, gluten free, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, also contains antibacterial, antiviral, antivungal, and anti-parasitic healing properties. Coconut helps to aid and support overall immune system.

Ingredients: coconut, organic coconut virgin oil, organic maple syrup.

Cacao Cashew Cakes – Vegan and Raw


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This is my very first raw and vegan cakes I ever made to celebrate Christmas this year. It was my dream to bake vegan and raw cakes for cancer patients and I believe this is one of them! Felt so happy with the result. Made using raw ingredients: black dates, almonds, cashews, cacao powder, organic coconut oil and organic maple syrup. No-flour, no-eggs, no-butter, no-sugar, vegan and not-baked products so you can get all nutrients from this cakes too!

Inspired by the Chinese TCM courses I took this year, I was using black dates which are Chinese herb that can help to nourish the “Qi” and the blood which lead to better blood circulation, it also help to fight against stress and help improve insomnia. Black dates are especially good for postpartum women because it helps to restore energy and balance. Black dates are considered to be more tonic in terms of the effect on the body than Red dates in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Raw cacao is packed with antioxidants that destroy free radicals, the chemicals that accelerate ageing, inflammation and increase the potential for a range of diseases. Cacao can also reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. It can even improve blood pressure and blood vessel health, and improve HDL cholesterol. Eating in raw form is the great way to remove unnecessary effects of sugar.

Almonds contain a host of oils and nutrients that are especially good for keeping the skin youthful. Almonds are a good source of protein, needed for healthy growth and the repair of cells. The nuts also contain more fibre than any other nut, thereby helping to maintain good digestion. Their calcium content helps to keep bones strong and to stave off osteoporosis. They also contain monounsaturated fats and plant sterols, which help to reduce the risk of hearth disease. Almonds are a fantastic source of vitamin E, which plays and important role in maintaining healthy skin both internally and externally, helping to preserve elasticity and repair damage. Almond oil, especially, is wonderfully soothing for the skin and effective in healing post-operative scars. Vitamin E also boosts immunity and protects the heart. Almonds also provide zinc, magnesium and potassium, While zinc strengthens immunity, magnesium increases energy and potassium reduces blood pressure, staving off hearth disease.

Cashew nuts are a great source of omega-6 essential fatty acids, which protect against heart disease. The nuts also contain magnesium, a nutrient that aids the function of the heart and enables the metabolism of calcium, which prevents osteoporosis. Rich in B-vitamins, which aid the maintenance of nerves and muscle tissue, and boost resistance to stress, cashews contain selenium to stave off wrinkles and promote glossy hair. They also provide iron to help to prevent anaemia.

Organic coconut oil plays a role in lowering bad cholesterol, boosting immunity, increasing metabolism, helping with weight loss, and it is also great for your hair and skin and stress relief. The oil also provides relief from kidney problems, hearth disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.

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Tranche tunisienne


Tranche Tunisienne

Meringue and almond base Pâte à  tunisienne and génoiselayered with crème au pralinée with slight rhum syrup. The chewy tunisienne and cruncy pralin are perfect match!

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I used molasses sugar to make crème au pralinée, which makes the cream is slightly bitter and taste like caramel.

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It’s really amazed me each time I learn new techniques… Same ingredients can create different things with slightly different texture, aroma and of course taste! The praline paste was used for praline cream, the refined pralin was used in Pâte à  tunisienne, while the coarse ones were used to decorate the cakes!

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