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.

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