Formulating the Best Keto Ice Cream

Keto Ice Cream

Every diet needs some room for special treats. While the most dedicated dieter might be able to subsist on only rice and beans and find themselves content, the average individual pursuing a special meal plan won’t have such a resistance to temptation. Providing a reliable source of food products that align with the unique needs of a specific diet, therefore, is a road to reaching many untapped markets. 

The keto diet, short for “ketogenic,” is the latest spin on what was once called the Atkins diet — a low-carb lifestyle. Individuals on keto must minimize carbohydrate intake while increasing their consumption of other nutrients, such as fats and proteins. When sustained, the body begins burning fats for fuel first, leading to weight loss. 

Sticking to keto isn’t always easy, especially when it puts many tempting treats off-limits. Ice cream, which typically is high in carbs, is one such prohibition — but the advent of keto ice cream has changed that. What does it take to make a good keto ice cream, and how can unique and innovative products such as milk protein concentrate contribute?

What Makes Good Ice Cream? Defining the Right Components

From the consumer’s perspective, ice cream only needs to “taste good” to pass muster in most cases. From the maker’s point of view, however, “a good taste” is actually the combination of multiple aspects, only one of which is the flavor itself. Flavor is indeed fundamental, but other physical attributes of the ice cream contribute to the overall sense of enjoyment we get out of a few cold scoops.

Alongside flavor, mouthfeel is of prime importance – which is not exactly texture, but it’s a close relative. Mouthfeel describes the overall sensation of how the ice cream feels in the mouth. It should ideally be smooth, creamy, and perhaps even a bit milky. What you do not want is a high concentration of larger ice crystals, which leads to a grainy mouthfeel. Likewise, some substitute ingredients leave ice cream feeling “thin” or fleeting, while others lend a “gum-like” feel that belies the nature of the formulation.

Milk Protein Concentrates: The Secret to Better Formulations

Ice cream itself is a product of both milk and cream blended with other ingredients; it is the milk component of the formula which makes ice cream unsuitable for the keto diet. Because milk has a higher concentration of carbohydrates and ice cream typically already contains carbs in the form of added sugar, the result is a product that won’t sustain ketosis. Keto ice creams must reduce this component and rely primarily on cream, but how can you preserve the desirable aspects of the product when removing such a fundamental ingredient?

Pure milk protein concentrates are the answer. A dry powder suitable for mixing into ice cream formulations, MPCs contain intact milk proteins in the form of both whey and casein. Lactose and most fats have been removed from the product, resulting in a higher protein concentration. Our IdaPlus 1085 MPC, for example, has an 85% protein content by dry mass. Blending these proteins into an ice cream batch creates results that are strikingly similar to milk-based ice cream. 

Because MPCs contain whole, un-denatured proteins, they lend multiple qualities to the product. A milky, smooth mouthfeel is one of them — and it immediately allows keto products to achieve better consistency. This advantage in formulation is only one of the benefits of milk protein. The product itself also provides a smooth flavor while making the churning process simpler. MPCs easily disperse into the ice cream emulsion, helping to keep ice crystals smaller. The result can easily be a premium high-protein ice cream.

Our Production Process is Highly Refined

Traditional extraction of milk proteins has been harsh and reliant on chemical precipitation methods. The resulting products would not be very suitable for the production of good-quality keto ice cream. To achieve the premium results we aim for, we use a low-temperature ultrafiltration process. Rather than chemically separating the proteins, we do so physically with the help of an ultra-fine mesh filter. After careful drying, we produce a protein-rich powder suitable for immediate use in many kinds of food and beverage products.

Explore More About MPC Product Formulations Today

Though it may not seem like removing milk from the ingredients list of ice cream is the right choice to make, the final results of an MPC-based product are hard to deny. With a fraction of the carbs as regular ice cream and a comparable protein content, keto ice creams produced with our concentrates are just as satisfying as their non-keto counterparts. For those who want to stick to keto without sacrificing flavor or personal enjoyment, such products offer the perfect sales pitch. 

To learn more about Idaho Milks Products and our unique MPC formulations such as IdaPlus 1085, contact us today for a conversation about creating delicious keto ice cream blends.