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The main role of air is to make ice cream soft.

It is essential to create, and maintain, a dispersion

of smallair bubbles when the ice cream mix is being whipped in the machine; small air
bubbles impart a smooth texture.
Air bubbles affect primarily the firmness of frozen desserts. Too little air results in
a heavy product, whereas too much air results in fluffiness.
The fat globule clusters formed during the process of partial coalescence are responsible for
surrounding and stabilising the air cells resulting in a smooth texture and resistance to
meltdown (Tharp et al., 1998). The fat globule clusters provide provide the air cells with some
stability and help prevent them from coming together and forming large air bubbles. When air
cells are quite large, smoothness is diminished.
How To Create Small Air Bubbles
Small air bubbles impart a smooth texture, whereas large air cells diminish smoothness. The
beating of the ice cream dasher breaks the large air bubbles down into many small ones.
Increasing the shear stress (the speed at which the dasher turns) will create smaller air bubbles.
This is where hand-operated home ice cream machines have an advantage over electric motor
machines: an electric motor machine churns the ice cream relatively slowly whereas a hand-
operated machine lets you manually increase the dasher speed.
Overrun is the measurement of air that is whipped into the ice cream in the ice cream machine
and is calculated as the percentage increase in volume of the finished ice cream. So, if 1litre of
ice cream mix produces 2 litres of frozen ice cream, 100% overrun will have been achieved.
Most commercial ice cream has an overrun of 75-100%, whereas the overrun of super premium
ice creams may be as low as 20%.
Marshall and Arbuckle held that an increase in overrun will decrease the size of ice crystals.
Hartel stated that low overrun induces the formation of coarser ice crystals in ice cream
compared with the same formulation made at higher overrun, because air cells may provide a
physical impediment to ice crystallisation during freezing.
Flores and Goff have suggested that a low amount of air (overrun below 50%) does not
influence ice crystal size and that a certain amount of air (overrun over 70%) is necessary to
have a noticeable impact on microstructure. However, Flores and Goff found that when the
volume of air reached a critical volume (over 80%), increasing overrun had less impact on the
overall microstructure.
Too high an overrun can have a negative impact on ice cream quality: too much air will dissipate
flavour and produce ice cream that is fluffy in texture and light in weight.
When making ice cream at home, it is important not to fill the freezer bowl above about two-
thirds. If you fill your freezer bowl to the top, there will be no room for air to be incorporated
into the ice cream resulting in

What is overrun?
Overrun is the term for the percent of expansion of ice cream achieved from the amount of
air incorporated into the product during the freezing process. An overrun of 50% means
that it has expanded 50% (for example: one gallon of mix will make one and a half gallons
of finished product). "Gravity" fed units typically yield on average about 35% overrun.
"Pressurized" units can yield 65% overrun or greater. For best quality and appearance of
soft serve a 50-60% overrun is the most desirable. How well the machine is operating as
well as if it is "gravity" or "pressurized" affects the overrun that is ultimately attainable.
Why It matters
Overrun shows in both the appearance and taste of the ice cream and your profitability. Soft
serve with the optimal overrun is dry in appearance and stands up well without drooping.
Many people may say that a product is "too warm" when in fact it is cold enough but lacks
the proper amount of air which gives it structure and body. Think of the example of
whipping cream. Without air it looks like milk. After air or "overrun is whipped in it gains
body and can be turned upside-down. Product that is over beaten loses the ability to hold
air. Some machines try to compensate for the lack of overrun by driving down the
temperature of the product Although it helps to "stiffen it up" the product becomes icy and
loses its creaminess and taste. Overrun also affects profits by the perceived amount of
product that is being served. Without enough overrun youre forced to make a choice. To
maintain your product costs you either serve a "small" cone and make a disgruntled
customer or give away more product. Higher overrun makes creamy ice cream and a "big"

Pumps in pressurized machines
Pressurized machines use pumps to transfer the mix to the freezing cylinder and pressurize
it. Some machines use piston pumps with "O" rings and check mechanisms. Some use
peristaltic tubes that require no lubrication and have many fewer parts. This makes for
easier cleaning. The amount of pressurization ranges from 18# to 30# depending on the
brand of machine and design of the pump. The higher the pressure the better the air
incorporation. (Hint: Electro Freeze pressurized machines use 30# pressure switches)

How the pumps are controlled (turned on and off) is very important. The best systems use
pressure switches that maintain the correct pressure, air and mix. Some machines use less
desirable "timed pumps" that turn on during product draw and remain on for a "timed"
amount after the end of the draw. They can not compensate for varying draw speeds or
volumes so careful timing of the draw rate is required. To assure the barrel is pressurized
enough the pump is timed so that it pumps more than enough and then "blows off" excess
pressure back into the mix reservoir after every draw. This shows as bubbles in the hopper
and low/inconsistent overrun. Electro Freeze machines do not use "timed pumps".
Calculating overrun
Overrun can be calculated by weighing a container (pints are most often used) and making
a note of it so it can be subtracted later. Note how much the container weighs filled with
your liquid mix and subtract the container weight. Once noted both numbers can be used
again whenever you want to check your overrun. Fill the same container level with frozen
product and note its weight. Now just plug it in to the formula...
(Wt. of mix - Wt. of same vol. of ice cream)/Wt. of same vol. of ice cream x 100%
= %Overrun
Example: Container = 1 oz., container with mix = 19 oz. Subtract the container weight for a
mix Wt of 18 oz. Container with leveled-off ice cream 13 oz (-1 oz of container wt )= 12 oz.
ice cream. (18-12)/12 x 100%. = 50% overrun.

Figuring plant overrun by volume, no particulates
% Overrun = (Vol. of ice cream - Vol. of mix used)/Vol. of mix used x 100%
Example : 500 L mix gives 980 L ice cream,
(980 - 500)/500 x 100% = 96% Overrun
80 L mix plus 10 L chocolate syrup gives 170 L chocolate ice cream,

(Note : any flavours added such as this chocolate syrup which become homogeneous with the
mix can incorporate air and are thus accounted for in this way : )
(170 - (80 + 10))/(80 + 10) x 100% = 88.8% Overrun
Figuring package overrun by weight, no particulates
% Overrun = (Wt. of mix - Wt. of same vol. of ice cream )/Wt. of same vol. of ice cream x
Must know density of mix (wt. of 1 L), usually 1.09 - 1.1 kg. /L.
(see example below)
Example : If 1 L of ice cream weighs 560 g,
% Overrun = (1090 - 560)/560 x 100% = 94.6% Overrun
(Note : Figuring package overrun by weight if the ice cream has particulates in it gives very
little information because both the ratio of ice cream to particulates and the air content of the
ice cream affect the final weight.)
Developing an Overrun Table for Use When Manufacturing Ice Cream
To develop an overrun table to determine overrun quickly by weight when making ice cream, all
you need is a cup with a fixed volume that is convenient for filling ice cream into (like a steel
measuring cup, for example, with a flat top that would be easy to scrape level) and an ordinary
gram balance. Then, using the equation from above, you can calculate what the weight of the cup
would be for a series of different overruns, and then make up a table. Then when you are running
ice cream, just keep weighing the cup and checking against the table for the overrun in the cup.
% Overrun = (Wt. of mix - Wt. of same vol. of ice cream )/Wt. of same vol. of ice cream x 100%
So, lets say your cup holds 100 mL. Fill the cup with mix and weigh it. Let's say the net weight
(minus the weight of the empty cup) is 110 g. Lets say the empty cup weighs 30 g.
The net weight of the cup at 5% overrun would be:
.05 = (110 - x)/x, solve for x and you get 104.8, so the gross weight would be 134.8 g.
{In case your algebra is rusty, to solve for x, follow this example:
.05 = (110-x)/x
x = (110-x)/.05
x = 110/.05 - x/.05
x = 2200 - 20x
x + 20x = 2200
21x = 2200
x = 2200/21 = 104.76}
Likewise for 10%, 0.1 = (110 - x)/x, solve for x and you get 100, so the gross weight would be
130 g.
Keep going up to 150% or so, then make a table:
Overrun% Weight of cup + ice cream (grams)
0 140
5 134.8
10 130
150 74