Did You Know: The “Real” Secret of Thick & Creamy Ice-cream
And no, it’s not flour.
If you read the ingredients on the back of ice-cream tubs or ice-cream sticks, there would be something called carrageenan. What is that? It is a gum extracted from seaweed. You can say that seaweed is the key to thick and creamy ice-cream, but it is actually the gum, carrageenan found in it.
Carrageenan is named after the place in Ireland where the seaweed is collected. Gums, such as those in sealing tapes and candies, come from all types of plants. The gums are actually sugars bonded together in long strands. As seaweed grows in the sea, the gum made from it is, you can say, attracted to water. The gum, even in small amounts ties up the water in the ice-cream, in turn making it thick, smooth and creamy instead of thin and runny. It also helps prevent the ice-cream from getting too icy while sitting in the freezer. Only half a teaspoon of carrageenan is used in half-gallon of ice cream.
So, that’s the ‘Real’ secret.