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Antifreeze in Ice Cream?

In the following e-mail exchange, the e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.

>Subject: Ice cream

I was told recently that most ice creams these days contain a huge amount of artificial ingredients amongst them being anti-freeze. Do you know if this is true and if so what number to look out for on the list of ingredients?

Thanks for any help you can give.


I've heard of the anti-freeze claim before, but I wasn't sure if it was true or not. So I did a quick Internet search. It turns out to be considerably different than I and probably you thought:

Some ice cream manufacturers are adding a fish "antifreeze" protein produced by a genetically engineered organism to their low fat ice cream to increase its smoothness. A gene, originating in the arctic Pout fish, codes for an "ice structuring" protein which causes smaller ice crystals to be formed when freezing….

Is this a good idea? Might there be side effects? Might there be problems having a fish antifreeze in our ice cream? The short answer is "We do not know for sure." There are theoretical dangers which we recognize, and for which we attempt to test. However, with a highly technological enterprise such as genetic modification of foods which introduce novel ingredients into our diet, there can be a serious problem of unintended consequences. -

In addition, most commercial ice creams contain a lot of artificial ingredients in them. All you have to do is read the labels and you'll see that. And note that many different chemicals can be "hiding" under the terms "artificial flavorings" and "artificial colorings." So I would say if you're going to eat ice cream, you'd be best off using a brand that only uses natural ingredients or even better, get organic ice cream from a health food store.

But personally, I don't eat ice cream at all. Even if natural, it simply has too much saturated fat and added sugar. If I get a craving for something cold and creamy, I'll eat yogurt. Sweetened with stevia, a natural sweetener, it tastes very good. Or I'll eat frozen fruit, either from a bag, or I freeze bananas myself. Try it. You can also roll the bananas in crushed nuts before freezing them. They're really good.

You could also use the frozen fruit in the yogurt. Put the fruit in a dish and thaw it first then add the yogurt. It will have the same taste and consistency as the store-bought, fruit-flavored stuff, but without all of the added sugar. Another alternative is to add a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and a small handful of peanuts. Also very good.

Just a few thoughts.

Note: My favorite brand of Stevia is Optimum Nutrition's Stevia Liquid Extract. The liquid is much easier to use than the powder, and this brand does not contain alcohol as most other liquids do. It is available from


>Subject: RE: Ice cream

Thanks for all your info. I will use yoghurt & frozen fruit - - what a good idea.

Thanks again.

Disclaimer: The material presented in this article is intended for educational purposes only. The author is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any diet or exercise program, one should consult your doctor. The author is in no way responsible or liable for any bodily harm, physical, mental, or emotional, that results from following any of the advice in this article.

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