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Ice Cream

What is the density of ice cream?

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December 12, 2007 10:26PM

The density of Ice cream depends on two factors - (1) the density of the ingredient mixture and (2) the expansion or "overrun" that occurs due to freezing and introduction of air. The density of cream is very close to that of water - on the order of 1.008 Kg/L for heavy cream. Other ingredients, such as sugar, flavoring, and other additives may increase or decrease the density. Since water is a major component of cream, cream will expand as it freezes. Air infiltration during the mixing and freezing process may also cause significant expansion. In fact, one of the significant differences between low and high quality ice cream and low quality ice cream is the amount of air introduced. Since Ice cream is generally sold by volume and not weight, there is a cost incentive for the manufacturer to introduce more air, so that the consumer actually gets less product. A finished 3 gallon tub of ice cream may range in weight from as little as 13 lbs. to as much as 24 lbs. For comparison, water weighs approximately 8.33 pounds/gallon. (Metric conversion left as an exercise.) References: * Overrun calculations in Ice Cream - http://www.foodsci.uoguelph.ca/dairyedu/overrun.html * Density of Milk - http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2002/AliciaNoelleJones.shtml * McConnell's Ice Cream - Scrapbook - http://www.mcconnells.com/scrapbook.html