June 4, 2003
Cheese Market News (Letter to the Editor)
In early April, the International Ice Cream Association (IICA) submitted a petition to the FDA to amend the Standards of Identity for frozen desserts in 21 CFR 135. Among the various amendments proposed, IICA requested removal of the maximum 25% restriction on whey solids in ice cream to allow for use of other dairy-derived ingredients including whey proteins. The petition also included replacing the current standard of minimum nonfat milk solids content with a minimum milk-derived protein level. To ensure the nutritional value of ice cream, the proposal suggested a minimum 2.95% milk-derived protein level in the ice cream.
This attempt by IICA to modernize and improve the federal standards for manufacture of ice cream is worthy of strong support from the dairy industry and specifically from the whey protein manufacturers. When the standards for ice cream were established in the 1970s, the available "whey solids" were limited to dried whey powder, modified whey solids, and lower protein whey protein concentrates. The whey processing industry has gone through tremendous changes in the past 25 years and is providing nutritious and functional whey proteins in the form of isolates and concentrates. These newer protein ingredients would allow innovative frozen product developers to utilize the unique functionalities of whey proteins.
Whey proteins are highly digestible proteins that provide nutritionally important amino acids. Nutritionists and dietitians have long recognized the nutritional significance of whey proteins. Consumers widely accept whey proteins in the label as healthful ingredients. Many product developers of high-protein foods seek whey protein isolates and concentrates to add nutritional impact to their products. The ice cream industry can certainly benefit from such a high-quality, dairy-derived protein ingredients.
The functional properties of isolated or concentrated whey proteins are exceptionally suitable for frozen desserts. These ingredients provide whipping, foaming, emulsification, and water-binding properties without contributing excessive lactose to the ice cream mix. Whey protein isolates (WPI) form stable foam - an essential characteristic of ice cream. The water binding ability of whey proteins enhance the body and texture of ice cream by minimizing ice crystal formation and improving freeze-thaw stability.
Eliminating the current restriction of maximum 25% (of the 10% nonfat milk solids) whey solids in ice cream will have a positive impact on the ice cream industry and on the US whey industry. We support the proposed updates to the ice cream standards, and are confident that these positive changes can and should be supported by the dairy industry as a whole.
Vice President, New Business, Sales & Marketing
Davisco Foods International, Inc.
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