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What Are The Stabilizer And Emulsifiers In Ice Cream

Ice cream emulsifiers and stabilizers are crucial for maintaining the delicious taste and ideal texture of ice cream. They help prevent crystallization and keep the product consistent and enjoyable. Join us as we take a closer look at the roles and types of emulsifiers and stabilizers used in ice cream.

What Are Emulsifiers And Stabilizers?

Emulsifiers help mix two immiscible liquids, such as oil and water and keep them from separating. In food production, emulsifiers are used to create stable mixtures and improve texture, consistency, and shelf life. They work by reducing the surface tension between the liquids, allowing them to blend more easily. Food emulsifiers are commonly found in products such as ice cream, bread, cakes, salad dressings, mayonnaise, margarine, and processed foods.

Stabilizers are substances that help maintain the structure and consistency of food products, preventing separation, and improving texture. Food stabilizers are commonly applied in ice cream, yogurt, cheese, pudding, sauces, soups, baked goods, beverages, and desserts.

What Are The Emulsifiers In Ice Cream?

Like any recipe, ensuring ice cream remains perfect on a hot summer day requires a bit of magic, and emulsifiers are key to this process. But what exactly are ice cream emulsifiers? In simple terms, emulsifiers help keep ice cream smooth and aid in the even distribution of fat molecules. They play a vital role in stabilizing the ice cream mixture, allowing fats and water to blend seamlessly and preventing separation. This results in a smoother texture and enhanced mouthfeel. Here are some purposes of emulsifiers added to ice cream.
1. Emulsifiers aid in blending milk fat and water in ice cream, preventing them from separating during the freezing process.
2. By reducing ice crystal formation, emulsifiers ensure ice cream has a smoother and more refined texture.
3. Emulsifiers help to evenly distribute air throughout the ice cream mixture, allowing the ice cream to maintain a larger volume and a fluffier consistency when frozen.
4. By keeping fats and water from separating and minimizing ice crystal growth, emulsifiers can prolong the shelf life of ice cream, preserving its quality during storage.


ice cream stabilizers and emulsifiers

Popular Ice Cream Emulsifiers

Mono- and Diglycerides

In the ice cream industry, one popular emulsifier is Mono- and Diglycerides. These emulsifiers are primarily used for preparing extremely low-fat ice creams. Mono- and Diglycerides are glycerides with one or two fatty acids attached, respectively. They are effective in stabilizing fat globules and preventing their aggregation, thus improving the texture and mouthfeel of ice cream.

Polysorbate 80

Polysorbate 80 is also used as an emulsifier in ice cream. This is a type of sorbitan ester derived from polyethylene glycol and oleic acid. Polysorbate 80 for sale helps in dispersing fat molecules evenly throughout the ice cream mixture and contributes to a smoother texture.


Often derived from soybeans, lecithin is a natural emulsifier containing phospholipids. It helps to stabilize the mixture by promoting the interaction between water and fats, thus preventing separation and enhancing creaminess.

What Are The Stabilizers In Ice Cream?

In addition to emulsifiers, stabilizers are essential for ensuring consistency in texture, flavor, and color across various food products. Ice cream stabilizers are additives that help improve the texture, consistency, and shelf life of ice cream. They work alongside emulsifiers to maintain a smooth, creamy texture and prevent ice crystal formation.

In commercial ice cream production, manufacturers use stabilizers to maintain the integrity of the ice cream mixture. Most stabilizers are categorized as hydrocolloids, primarily polysaccharides. They are capable of retaining significant amounts of water and exerting stabilizing effects such as moisture retention and prevention of crystal formation. Stabilizers are particularly crucial in frozen desserts, as they help prevent ice crystal formation during storage and enhance melt resistance.

What Are The Stabilizers In Ice Cream

Common Ice Cream Stabilizers


1. Guar Gum

Derived from guar beans, guar gum is a natural thickener and stabilizer. It has strong water-binding capabilities, significantly increasing the viscosity of ice cream even at low concentrations. This helps prevent the formation of ice crystals, maintaining a smooth texture. Additionally, guar gum enhances the emulsification stability of ice cream, reducing the likelihood of separation during melting.

2.Locust Bean Gum

Locust bean gum, extracted from the pods of the carob tree, is commonly used in making cheese, ice cream, frozen desserts, pie fillings, and soups. It enhances the texture of these foods, making it a valuable stabilizer in the food industry. In ice cream and gelato, for instance, locust bean gum helps create a smoother, more uniform product that resists melting. Furthermore, locust bean gum provides health benefits by increasing dietary fiber content without adding calories.


Extracted from red seaweed, carrageenan is a polysaccharide widely used in the food industry as a thickener and stabilizer. It forms a gel at low temperatures, helping to prevent large ice crystals from forming during freezing and melting. Carrageenan also improves the emulsification stability of ice cream, resulting in a smoother mouthfeel.

4. Xanthan Gum

Produced by microbial fermentation, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide with strong thickening and stabilizing properties. It significantly enhances the texture and stability of ice cream, even at low concentrations. Xanthan gum prevents separation and ice crystal formation during storage and transport, ensuring consistent product quality.

5.Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC)

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) is a synthetic cellulose derivative used as a thickener and stabilizer in ice cream. It has excellent water solubility and thickening properties, improving the viscosity and stability of ice cream while preventing ice crystal formation. CMC cellulose also enhances the emulsification, resulting in a smoother and creamier texture.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the valuable properties of emulsifiers and stabilizers in ice cream is crucial for enhancing product quality and profitability. Creating ice cream with consistent texture and flavor ensures customer satisfaction, while stability and extended shelf life mean less waste.

Chemsino is a leading manufacturer specializing in high-quality emulsifiers and stabilizers designed specifically for ice cream production. Known for innovation and reliability, they enhance texture, extend shelf life, and reduce waste, supporting global ice cream producers with essential solutions.

If you have specific needs, please feel free to contact us anytime for quotes and free samples of our ice cream emulsifiers and stabilizers. Our team is eager to assist you in enhancing your product quality and achieving your production goals. Don't hesitate to reach out today for the Chemsino advantage!
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