So what sets ice-cream and frozen dessert apart from each other. Simple. It is the ingredients that go into the making that makes all the difference. The major ingredient in frozen dessert is vegetable oil. The commonly used vegetable oil is palm oil. On the contrary, ice-cream is made of milk and dairy fat. As stated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI,) a product can be labelled as ice-cream, kulfi or softy ice-cream when the product is composed of a pasteurized mix made of milk and/or milk derivatives. On the other hand, the products which are made from a pasteurized mix of milk fat and/or vegetable oils and fats have to be labelled as ‘frozen dessert’.
The labelling of these products can be confusing. With both the products looking identical, it might be difficult to differentiate between ice-cream and frozen dessert. By looking at the product image on the carton, frozen desserts can be confused with ice-cream. In most of the products the term ‘frozen dessert’ is mentioned in a tiny font which most of us don’t catch. So, it won’t be incorrect to say that the labelling is quite unclear.
On the nutrition front, many dietitians are of the opinion that using vegetable oils like palm oil can prove to be detrimental to human health. This is since many research studies have proved that palm oil consumption can increase blood cholesterol levels and increase risk of heart disease.
Nevertheless many frozen dessert manufacturers have argued that vegetable oils are an integral part of the dessert since it imparts that smooth, rich and creamy texture. Also, since vegetable oils are not a direct source of cholesterol, it is claimed to be healthful.
It might be difficult to state which one is better over the other, but it is high time we look carefully and screen our food labels and make the best choice.