Do you like ice-cream? Of course you do! Who does not? Have you ever wondered what there is in your ice-cream? Watch the video produce by Nereo Cafolla, Sara Jozić, Pashmina Pellizzer, Gaja Poretti and Laura Verdnik and and you will find it out.
Our school decided to carry out some research on ice cream as one of the top favourite foods among teenagers and people in general.
We created a Google form online survey and asked face-to-face questions to find out relevant information on our peers’ opinions, eating habits, and preferences regarding ice cream.
The responses to the questions are represented by pie charts. These are the results:
1st question: Are you an ice cream lover?
The great majority, 83.3% of the respondents confirmed that they love ice cream Only 16.7% replied negatively.
2nd question: Do you have a favourite brand of ice cream?
80% of the respondents admitted that they have a favourite brand of ice cream.
3rd question: If yes, who or what influenced you to buy this brand?
The respondents revealed that their ice cream preferences were affected by different factors:
32.1% said they were influenced by their families
10.7% said they were influenced by advertisements
The same percentage of respondents, 10.7%, said that their choice was influenced by their friends.
46.4% said there were other reasons. In the oral survey they said that it was their personal choice.
4th question: Why do you like this brand?
Nearly all respondents, 96.6% of them, said that flavour definitely affects their consumer preferences. Only 3.4% of them is attracted by the product design. No consumer mentioned price or brand image as factors that affect their ice cream choices
5th question: What ice cream packages do you buy?
48.3 % of young consumers prefer buying cones,
27.6 usually buy lollies or ice cream on sticks
20.7% prefer plastic containers
3.4% buy ice cream in tubs
6th question: How often do you eat ice cream?
Half of the respondents eat ice cream mostly in the summer.
20% of them said that they eat it every day in the summer
30% of them eat it once a week in the summer
16.7% said that they eat it once a month in the winter
33% of the respondents eat it rarely in the winter
7th question: Do you eat the nutrition labels when you buy an ice cream?
Nearly 3 respondents out of 4, that is 76.7%, said that they never read the food labels on the ice cream packages while 23.3% do.
8th question: How much do you know about the typical ingredients in the ice cream?
26.7% of the respondents do not know much about the typical ingredients contained in an ice cream, and the same percentage of respondents said they would like to learn more because they think that eating good food is important to be healthy.
23.3% of the respondents replied that they have learned about food ingredients at school. The same percentage said that they are not interested in the topic.
9th question: Do you think that the ingredients are healthy?
None of the young consumers thinks that ice cream ingredients are healthy. Half of them think that the ingredients are not healthy while the other half said that they are not sure.
10th question: Have you ever tasted homemade ice cream?
Only 63.3% of the respondents said that they have tasted homemade ice cream. The rest, 36.7% said that they have tasted only factory made ice cream.
The survey revealed that flavour and the enjoyment of good ice cream are definitely the most relevant factors that influence the respondents’ food choices.
Young consumers in our school usually buy cones and most of them have a favourite ice cream brand
However, most of them are not generally attracted by the appearance of the ice cream package, the brand design or the price, and their ice cream purchase decisions are not particularly influenced by their family, friends or advertisements.
All respondents doubt that the ingredients contain in commercial ice cream are healthy.
Most of the respondents admitted that they do not understand the information provided on the ice cream nutrition labels and many of them would like to learn more about the topic to keep healthy.
Nereo Cafolla, Sara Jozić, Pashmina Pellizzer, Gaia Poretti and Laura Verdnik
To see the PowerPoint presentation of the results please go to:
Our school carried out some research on the topic of ice cream. During the Learning, Training and Teaching Activities in Gallivare, a group of students, Gaia Poretti, Sara Jozić, Nereo Cafolla, Pashmina Pelizzer, and Laura Verdnik, presented the results.
In our research we focused on the ice cream products sold by two local supermarkets: the Croatian “Konzum” and the German “Lidl”.
We analyzed the nutrition labels and the additives reported on various ice cream packages, such as ice lollies, ice cream on sticks, ice cream cones and ice creams in plastic containers and noticed that the additives used are more the less the same.
Today, it is nearly impossible to find products that do not contain different types of food additives. They are used to preserve, enhance, and help maintain the nutritional value of food. They are listed as E numbers and can be found in packaged food items.
Clearly, the use of additives reported on the ice cream labels has been allowed by European food safety experts. However, we have found out that while some additives are completely healthy others should be consumed with precautions and perhaps avoided.
We have classified the various additives on our ice cream products in four categories:
3. food colours
We will discuss here their use and characteristics.
1. EMULSIFIERS are substances used in food manufacturing to stop liquid and solid parts from separating (e.g. water and
The most commonly used emulsifiers are:
E 322 (commonly called Lecithin) which is obtained from from soybeans or egg yolk. It is used to soften chocolate and according to safe food authorities its consumption is healthy and has no side effects. The Acceptable Daily Intake or ADI is not limited However, we have found out some contraddictions:
- Most often, E322 is produced from genetically modified soy. 80 percent of soy produced in the world is genetically modified. No one can predict what will happen to a person in the long run after its use
- It contains isoflavones that are harmful to the thyroid gland. So some doctors prohibit use of dietary supplements, which include the E322, to people who have problems with their endocrine system.
E 442 (or Ammonium phosphatides)
It is obtained from ammonia, phosphorylated fatty acids, mainly from rapeseed oil, and used in chocolate and cocoa products.
Food experts don’t say that there are no side effects but that there are none known which explains why the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is limited: up to 30 mg/kg bodyweight
E 471 (or Mono- and diglycerides)
is an emulsifier obtained from synthetic fats, produced from glycerol and natural fatty acids, from plant and animal origin.
It is widely used in bakery products, cakes, yoghurt, chocolate, mayonnaise, meat industry, margarine, potato crisps and ice cream. Its side effects are not known and the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is not specified. As we can see it is widely used but experts say that if we eat a lot of products containing this emulsifier, the risk of obesity and other diseases increases.
E 476 (or Polyglycerol polyricinoleate also known as PGPR)
It is obtained from the oil of the tree Ricinus. It is used in bakery products and chocolate. The side effects are not known. However, the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) is limited: up to 7.5 mg/kg bodyweight, which proves that it may not be completely healthy.
However, the ingestion of this substance has been shown to cause physiological changes in the bodies of test animals (significant unexplained enlargement of the kidneys and livers of mice, rats, and chickens).
are additives that preserve food quality during distribution and storage.
E 401 (also known as Sodium alginate)
It is produced by different seaweeds. Adverse effects are not known, however large quantities may inhibit the absorption of some nutrients such as iron uptake. The Acceptable Daily Intake is not specified
E 407 (also known as Carrageenan)
This stabilizer is produced by different red edible seaweeds and is widely used in tofu, yogurt, coconut milk, ice cream, desserts, salad dressings, sauces, beer, processed meats, soy milk, diet sodas, etc.
In high concentrations it can cause flatulence, intestinal cramps and bloating. Considering the fact that it is widely used in the food industry, many food experts have pointed out that it can have harmful effects. Intestinal ulcers were reported in test animals. However, it is a bit strange that the Acceptable Daily Intake is not specified.
Carrageenan might slow blood clotting, increase bleeding and lower blood pressure (which can be a problem to people with low blood pressure).
E 410 (also known as Locust Bean Gum)
This stabilisers is obtained from the carob tree. In high concentrations it brings about flatulence, intestinal cramps and bloating. The Acceptable Daily Intake is not specified.
E 412 (also known as Guar Gum)
This stabiliser is used in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. It is produced from the guar shrub (India and Pakistan). It can be found in baked goods, cereal, fruit drinks, frozen fruit, cheese spread, dressing, yogurt, kefir, sauces, ice cream, etc. If consumed in large quantities it can bring about flatulence, intestinal cramps and bloating, nausea, throat problems. The Acceptable Daily Intake is not specified.
3. FOOD COLOURS are additives used to make up for colour losses following exposure to light, air, moisture and temperature and to make the food more attractive
We have found E 160a (also called Carotenes) which is obtained from several plants (peaches, oranges, tomatoes, carrots, etc).
If consumed in large quantities it will cause yellow discoloration of the skin and symptoms of vitamin A toxicity. The ADI is limited: up to 5 mg/kg bodyweight
Another food colour is E 161b (or Lutein)
It is a natural yellow colour, prepared from grass, nettles, egg yolks or Tagetes (yellow flowers). No side effects known, ADI not determined.
A thickener is an additive that is used to make food stiffer and more solid.
E 440 (Pectins)
They are produced from apple pulp and orange peels. In high concentrations may cause intestinal problems, flatulence
The Acceptable Daily Intake is not specifie.
Commercially produced ice cream is one of young consumers' most favoured sweet treats and is widely available. It’s sold everywhere in eye-catching packaging that attracts the buyers. And it is generally considered a good source of energy and of mineral and vitamins.
However, we have seen that it contains a lot of chemicals and synthetic ingredients.
In addition to emulsifiers, stabilizers, food colours, and thickeners, there are also hydrogenated fats and oils (like palm oil), sugar, margarine, cholesterol, sweeteners, etc. which are bad for our health.
Some additives are said to be healthy while others are considered unsafe, as they can have a bad effect on our immune system and can create gastrointestinal maladies.
We cannot ignore the negative effects of consuming ingredients that are not healthy. So moderation is important when eating ice cream.
We think that it is important to learn how to read the nutritional labels on the container to avoid health risks.
So….how can we be sure that we are eating healthy ice-cream? The only solution is to make it at home. Here are the ingredients!
Milk or cream