Why Does Ice Cream Crystallize When Refrozen After Melting?

  • By: Adriano
  • Date: November 3, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

There are a number of reasons why ice cream crystallises after refreezed, including an unbalanced recipe. Unbalanced recipes contain too much “free” water, which helps form larger crystals. While liquid ingredients like milk and cream contain water, the addition of sugar, skimmed milk powders, eggs, or other ingredients can prevent the water from moving around freely, resulting in crystallization.


What is the reason for ice cream’s tendency to crystallise when refrozen? The answer lies in a combination of factors, including the amount of water in the mixture and the freezing temperature. Small crystals result in a smooth texture, while large crystals cause the ice cream to become stiff. A subsequent refreeze will increase or decrease the number small crystals.

The temperature of the freezer is also important, so ice cream must be kept at a low temperature. For example, ice cream that is frozen should be kept at a temperature of 0degF (-18degC), which is considerably colder than the average supermarket freezer. The ice cream will feel hard to touch once it reaches this temperature.

Another factor that influences ice cream’s hardness is the amount of fat in it. This affects the melting rate of the ice cream. The amount of fat and the consistency coefficient of the ice cream mix also influence the amount of ice crystals that are formed. The larger the percentage of fat, the harder the ice cream will become.

In recent years, scientists have found that a certain level of fat can cause ice cream to crystallise when refrozen. In a recent study published in the Journal of Food Processing and Preservation, Kurultay, S., and Bradley, R.L., reported that ice cream could form overly large ice crystals. Researchers suggest that a plant-based ingredient may be able to prevent this problem. It is cheaper and more efficient than current additives.

Fat destabilization

Researchers conducted experiments to find out what causes ice cream crystallization after melting. They found that fat destabilization is a key factor in the crystallization process, as it determines the hardness of the ice cream. Other factors that affect ice cream crystallization include rheological properties, ice crystal size, and fat content.

In the initial stages of freezing, milk fat globules are partially crystalline, and are stabilized by milk proteins and emulsifiers. As they freeze, high shear conditions cause individual fat globules to coalesce and become crystalline. These clusters can be anywhere from 10 to 100 um wide.

It can also lead to sandy ice-cream. This is due to large ice crystals that can be felt on the tongue. Other factors that can cause sandy texture include low total solids and high acid mix, a low amount of stabilizer, and high overrun. However, some variables can influence the rate of freezing, including the type of freezer and the type of mixer.

The addition of emulsifiers to ice cream can reduce the ice cream’s crystallization. They can replace proteins that form an emulsion on the surface of fat globules. If the emulsion is partially broken, the freezer can aerate the base. Partially coalesced fat can alter the consistency of the ice cream.


Emulsifiers can be chemical agents that are used to make ice cream with a smoother texture, and higher melt resistance. They can be made from mono and diglycerides, sorbitan monooleate, and polysorbate 80. Natural milk can also produce emulsifiers.

The mechanisms and factors that influence this process have been the focus of research into the process. It is important to understand why ice cream crystallizes, as this affects the texture of the product. Smaller crystals result in a smoother texture, while large crystals lead to a coarser texture. The process of recrystallization is influenced by total solids, stabilizer type, and storage temperature.

There are several reasons that contribute to the occurrence of ice crystals in ice cream. Unbalanced recipes are one reason. Crystals can grow larger if there is too much water in the recipe. Liquid ingredients such as milk, sugar, eggs, and eggs provide ice cream with no water. When these ingredients are added, they prevent the water from freely moving and can lead to the formation of bigger crystals.

Studies have shown that the amount of emulsifiers in ice cream can cause a variety of different effects. Emulsifiers can encourage the formation of colloidal structures, but they can also cause a significant increase in solidified fat.

Ice phase volume

The amount of ice phase volume that forms when ice cream is refrozen after it melts is related to the hardness of the product. It is also dependent on the size of the ice crystals and the consistency of the mix. The consistency coefficient is a measure of the mix’s rheological properties. The higher the coefficient, the greater the resistance to flow.

The hardness and melting rate of ice cream depend on many factors, such as the structure of the ice crystals and the air cells. These variables have a significant impact on the hardness of icecreams. More research is needed. Because even small changes in one aspect can have a significant impact on other structural characteristics.

The amount of fat in ice-cream is also affected by homogenization. Smaller fat particles melt faster than larger ones. The homogenization pressure also has an impact on the size of fat molecules. Homogenized ice cream has fat globules that are larger than the fat molecules within the foam. This makes it difficult to stabilize the foam structure. Additionally, the air cells are protected from destabilization by fat agglutinates. These fat globules attach to the fat globules’ protein membranes.

The addition of fiber, which reduces flow rate and increases viscosity and consistency coefficient, can improve the quality of ice cream. It can also reduce the perceived quality of the product. Consumer preferences are closely tied to sensory attributes, such as the amount of creaminess. Ice cream that is evenly distributed will melt slower and be creamier. High overruns can also lead to a greater surface area and thinner walls which can lead to higher deterioration potential.

Flow behavior

A power law model can be used to describe the flow behavior of ice-cream. The flow behavior index ranges between 0.56 and 0.66, which indicates pseudoplastic behavior for all samples. The flow behavior index increased with enzymatic incorporation of whey proteins, whereas it decreased with nonenzymatic incorporation.

Flow behavior of ice cream is influenced by its consistency and hardness. The melting rate will be affected by the amount of QSSG or CSG in the mixture. The hardness of the ice cream will also be affected by the amount of stabilizers. Higher concentrations of QSSG will produce less overrun than CSG.

The viscosity is another important factor. The overrun will be greater if the viscosity is higher. Higher friction between molecules causes higher viscosity. Moreover, higher molecular weight hydrocolloids will enhance the viscosity.

WPC increased consistency and viscosity. WPC also increased flow time, which is a measure of consistency. WPC-based WPC-based icecream had a WPC ratio of 0.99. This was significant. Furthermore, the WPC-based ice cream mix was smoother than its counterparts with MSNF. These results indicate that WPC has a greater amount of surface-active agents that prevent large ice crystals from forming.

Complex issues surround the flow behavior of ice cream containing inclusions. The inclusions must balance sensory properties, freezing performance, and flow under realistic conditions. The inclusions must have a low melting point to prevent localized heat shock and to minimize iciness. Moreover, inclusions should be injectable under the desired injection conditions.

Air cell size distribution

The size distribution of air cells in ice cream is one of the most important aspects of ice cream texture. It promotes light texture and influences melting. Ideal for ice cream are air cells with a diameter of 30 to 150mm. At higher storage temperatures, air cells coalesce to form larger cells and this results in a coarser foam structure.

The air cell size distribution in ice cream is affected by several factors, including emulsifier addition, freezing rate, and the influence of pre-whipping. It is important to understand how the air cells change during freezing and how this affects the texture of ice cream.

There are many factors that affect the stability of air cells, including the type of emulsifier, solution viscosity and ice crystal dispersion. The composition of the ice cream also has an impact, as can the composition and the level of emulsifiers.

The distribution of air cells within ice cream is a key factor in determining the product’s taste. Ice cream storage at a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature. This reduces melting and alters the flavor. However, too low temperatures can lead to increased energy consumption and higher storage costs. In this study, researchers tested the storage temperature and time at four different temperatures to determine the effect of these factors on ice cream quality.

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