Hydrocolloid stabilizers are commonly used in ice cream formulations to provide body and reduce ice crystal growth during storage. We conducted a retail survey of 65 different vanilla ice cream brands and found the majority of manufacturers primarily use 1 or more of 4 different hydrocolloid sources: guar gum, carrageenan, locust and carob bean gum, or cellulose gum or gel. However, many consumers view hydrocolloids as unnatural, and the presence of hydrocolloids on an ingredient declaration may negatively affect purchase intent. Our survey of 705 consumers showed significant differences in purchase intent for vanilla ice cream, based on ingredient declarations containing different hydrocolloid stabilizers. A response surface central composite design was used to optimize ice cream stability using combinations of tapioca flour, carob bean gum, and citrus fiber, 3 consumer-preferred hydrocolloid stabilizers. Instrumental evaluations considered the dependent variables mix viscosity, ice cream hardness and toughness, melt-rate, and ice crystal size. A trained sensory panel also rated iciness, melt-rate, ease of breakdown in the mouth, and vanilla intensity. Each of the dependent variables from the trained panel and instrumental analysis were measured before and after a 3-week accelerated temperature cycling test. A regression analysis of the central composite design data combined instrumental and trained-panel results to compute a response surface based on the regression equation of each attribute. Using the response surface, 3 different optimized mix formulations were determined. The 3 different mixes were optimized using: 1) all dependent variables evaluated, 2) only sensory iciness scores, and 3) ice crystal size only. An untrained consumer panel evaluated samples before and after temperature cycling test, and rated vanilla ice creams prepared from all 3 optimized mixes against a control ice cream, prepared with a natural commercial stabilizer blend. The uncycled products prepared using optimized stabilizer blend were at statistical parity with the control product for overall acceptance, purchase likelihood, preference, sweetness and vanilla intensity, rate of melting in the mouth, texture and hardness. One or more of the optimized products were rated significantly better than the control for creaminess and texture. For products subjected to temperature cycling, 1 or more of the optimized products were rated significantly better than control for all attributes except sweetness and vanilla flavor intensity. This research indicates that more consumer-preferred options for ice cream stabilization are available to the ice cream industry, with performance and sensory results equal to other commercial hydrocolloid stabilizer blends.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science



Date Submitted


Document Type





clean label, tapioca flour, citrus fiber, carob bean gum, response surface central composite design



Included in

Life Sciences Commons