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Aug 6, 2010 08:47 PM

Fosselman's Ice Cream...High Overrun? (moved from L.A. Board)

Last week I bought two half gallon containers of ice cream from Fosselman's freezer (Mocha Almond Fudge and Nutella). When I picked them up the the first thing that I noticed was how light they seemed.
Today I bought one quart of Trader Joe's Coffee Bean Blast Premium Ice Cream.
I could swear the one quart of Trader Joe's ice cream feels heavier than each of the half gallon containers I got from Fosselman's. I can't find my ktichen scale at the moment, but the one quart of TJ's is definitely heavier than the half gallon of the Fosselman's.
The half gallon of Fosselman's was like $6.30 and the quart of TJ's was $5.99.

Overrun is the amount of air that is incorporated into the product during the freezing process to increase the volume. It's expressed as a percentage. For example you have 1 gallon of mix and you end up with 1 1/2 gallons of finished product that's 50% overrun. Soft serve ice cream is normally 50%-60% overrun. The commercial stuff you buy in the grocery store is 100% overrun(half air, the legal limit). Super premium and premium ice creams will have higher butterfat content and lower overrun (15%-50%).

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  1. So, how does the Fosselman's taste to you, do you like it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ChinoWayne

      Their ice cream tastes good. I live close by and have been a long time customer. I was just surprised when I picked up the two half gallon containers and immediately noticed how light they were. (Correction the half gallons are $6.75)

      The Fosselman website under the "wholesale" area says, "Fosselman’s proudly supplies super-premium ice cream".....the only reference on the whole website mentioning super-premium ice cream. Maybe they only make "super-premium" for wholesale customers?

      Tonight I opened the quart container of TJ's Coffee Bean Blast and there was a big difference in texture from the Fosselman's.

      Bottom line is Fosselman's tastes good, but you're paying for a lot of air.

    2. You're buying ice cream based on volume, not weight. So there's nothing strange going on.

      Plus, you are comparing hand-packed (Fosselman's) v. machine-packed (TJ). Since hand-packed ice cream depends on the packer, you might end up with a lot more airspace if someone isn't packing it well. Which may be why some stores have their employees weigh their containers (even though they are selling by volume just to make sure that the store isn't providing too much ice cream).

      Also, you are comparing two different types of ice cream -- coffee versus mocha almond fudge. It's not just overrun that can contribute to the weight of the ice cream, but all the other ingredients used to make the ice cream base, etc.

      So the weight differences you're seeing might be due to poor packing in the gallon container (which is sort of a ripoff) or it might be because that ice cream is made with different ingredients, which is perfectly legitimate, since you're buying by volume.

      15 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        The prepackaged at Fosselman's isn't hand packed. The TJ's was straight coffee ice cream. You're right about buying ice cream in volume, but overrun is a factor when you're buying ice cream, it's the difference between premium and regular ice cream.
        Next time you're at Fosselman's pick up a half gallon from their freezer and you'll notice how light it is immediately.

        1. re: monku

          I rarely buy bulk ice cream from Fosselman's. It's usually just buy and eat.

          But getting back to your original post, if I am not mistaken the term "super premium" is a marketing term that is essentially meaningless legally speaking, right? There is nothing legally that requires a manufacturer to include X% of butterfat or limit the amount of overrun in order to label something as "premium" or "super premium" ... at least nothing I could find.

          There are minimum standards for "ice cream" generally, but nothing more.

          See FDA CFR regulations re: ice cream standards:

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I frequently buy Trader Joe's ice cream. The quarts are 3.99 each, not 5.99 as was mentioned above. Their half gallons are 5.99 each. Yes, it is a denser, heavier product, with a very low overrun. I consider it a Super Premium ice cream.
            "Super Premium" Ice Creams is not a legal term, but more of a marketing term and usually contains a minimum of 14% Butterfat, less than 35% overrun and contains all natural ingredients.
            Volume versus weight: If a 100% overrun product of 4 ounces (by volume). which will only only weigh 65 gms (2.3 oz. by weight) scoop fills you up, then a little more than 1/2 of that (by volume) of a low overrun will be needed to fill you up, for it contains more weight of each ingredient for the amount of volume of space that it encompasses.

            Many brands over the past 50 years have called their products super premium. But in my humble opinion, there are very few who acutually produce what it is meant to describe.

            Handpacking reduces the amount of air as it is pushed down in the container. Yes, there could be "pockets" left when packing but that is because the ice cream packed was too cold when placed in the container. In reality, scoopers almost always pack it tight, usually squashing a portion of the air.

            1. re: Michael De

              You're half right about the Trader Joe's ice cream quart. It was $3.99/quart, but it's labeled "Super Premium".

        2. re: ipsedixit

          You know the difference between premium and regular ice cream.

          In this post about the best Ultra Premium ice cream you're first to mention Blue Bell and Kirkland(Costco) Signature Super Premium Vanilla Ice Cream.

          1. re: monku

            Discering the difference is not the point.

            All I was asking was if the terms ("Premium" "Super Premium" etc.) have any legal meaning, or are they just marketing terms. Appears it is just the latter.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              "But getting back to your original post, if I am not mistaken the term "super premium" is a marketing term......."
              and ice cream classification was not the point of my original post. You and I both knew they're only marketing terms and what they mean before this post.

              My observation was Fosselman's 1/2 gallon of ice cream was the same weight as a quart of TJ's ice cream due to high overrun.

              1. re: monku

                TJ's is made by Double Rainbow which is just half a notch down from the venerable McConnells of Santa Barbara in my book. Neither one of them uses the nasty Carrageenan which is what makes Fosselman's taste so whipped-up and airy. I've noticed that in-shop Fosselman's is a step up from the half gallons however.

                1. re: jackattack

                  Interesting the TJ's and Double Rainbow connection. I used to buy DR at TJ's all the time and noticed their textures to be similar.

                  Also interesting observation on the in-shop and half gallons at Fosselman's.

                  1. re: jackattack

                    jackattack, just noticed the ingredients on the TJ's Coffee Blast are exactly the same as Double Rainbow Coffee Blast. Last two ingredients are carob bean gum and guar gum which are thickeners made from beans. Double Rainbow claims they use only "natural" ingredients".

                    Quick google about Carrageenan and it's a thickener made from seaweed. Isn't that also considered a "natural ingredient" ?

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Butterfat content in ice cream is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). To be called ice cream in the United States, the product must have a minimum 10 percent butterfat. “Super-premium”-labeled ice creams in the U.S. have a butterfat content of 15 percent to 18 percent, but also come with a much higher fat content. Italian gelato typically has 4 percent to 8 percent percent butterfat. Economy ice cream, made in basic flavors, contains exactly 10 percent butterfat — the minimum USDA standard.

                  1. re: jackattack

                    "“Super-premium”-labeled ice creams in the U.S. have a butterfat content of 15 percent to 18 percent, but also come with a much higher fat content."

                    Do you have a citation for that statement?

                    I know the CFR regs regarding the 10% minimum butterfat for something to be labeled "ice cream" but your statement abuot "super premium" is new to me.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      The USDA doesn't seem to have specific definitions.

                      From their website:

                      5.1.1 Superpremium ice cream. Tends to have very low overrun and high fat content, andthe manufacturer uses the best quality ingredients.

                      5.1.2 Premium ice cream. Tends to have low overrun and higher fat content than standardice cream, and the manufacturer uses higher quality ingredients.

                      5.1.3 Standard ice cream. Meets the minimum requirements of the ice cream standard ofidentity in 21 CFR § 135.110.

                      5.1.4 Economy ice cream. Meets the minimum requirements of the ice cream standard ofidentity in 21 CFR § 135.110 and generally sells for a lower price than standard ice cream.

                      5.1.5 Overrun. The increase in product volume created when a given volume of ice cream mix isaerated during processing

                      1. re: andytseng

                        That was my point.

                        When a government agency says things like "tends" and "best quality" and "higher quality" it's sort of like a professional baker saying add "some butter" and "more water" and put everything in a "pretty hot oven".


                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I think I see Jackattack's source:

                          but it doesn't seem to cite anything, so I'm not sure where the author got that from. I think it just might be a generalization and probably should have been preceded with a "Typically,".