Korlapu Kousalya1 and Supreetha S2

Brain freezes, heart melts whenever I hear ice-cream. No weather or climate is too cold for ice-cream. From centuries it was an all-time favorite to all ages in the world. No one can say stop for an extra scoop.

Ice-cream is a frozen dairy product, which is a colloidal mixture of milk fat, milk protein, sugar, and air. According to the FSSAI (2006), Ice cream, kulfi, chocolate ice cream or softy ice cream means, “the product obtained by freezing a pasteurized mix prepared from milk and /or other products derived from milk with or without the addition of nutritive sweetening agents, fruit and fruit products, eggs and egg products, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, condiments, spices, ginger, and nuts and may be frozen hard or frozen to a soft consistency”.


The history of ice cream dates back to 500 B.C. For preparation of 1 gallon of ice-cream, about 12 pounds of milk is required. Chocolate ice-cream is the earliest one where vanilla was invented in 1700s. Vadilal Gandhi, founder of Vadilal ice-cream was the first person to introduce the product in India. An ice-cream with stretchy, chewy structure termed Booza of Eastern Levant region is considered as the oldest ice-cream. Highest icecream consumer in the world is America with 23 liters of ice-cream per person per year. When it comes to nutrition, icecream provides vitamin A, vitamin D, selenium, and zinc which helps in improving the immune system. There are around 1000 different flavors of ice-cream are existing from chocolate, vanilla to avocado.

Cereal based milk products are popular all over India. Cereals and milk are blended to compensate for deficiency of lysine. Millets are one of the oldest foods possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes. They are highly nutritious, non-glutinous and not acid forming foods. These are good source of bioactive compounds like phytates, phenols and tannins which contributes antioxidant activity. Incorporation of highly nutritious ingredient like millet in ice-cream will help in improving the nutritional as well as functional properties of ice-cream. Millets contains highest amount of folic acid 40 mcg/100 g, finger millet contains 340 mg/100 g calcium (3 times greater than milk), pearl millet has 75 mg/kg iron and 43 mg/kg zinc. Dietary fiber components of millets bind bile salts, thereby promoting cholesterol excretion from the body and thus reducing blood cholesterol levels, and food toxins in the gut to reduce their toxicity. They can also have some adverse nutritional effects by binding dietary calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron thereby reducing their bioavailability. With the aim to create awareness and increase production and consumption of millets, United Nations at the behest of the government of India, declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets. IYoM 2023 is an opportunity to highlight the benefits of millets for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life. They become a key crop within global food systems, with the potential to improve the livelihoods of small holder farmers, nutrition, and the environment.

The India, market for ice cream reached a value of USD 3.01 billion in 2022. The market is further expected to grow at a compounded growth rate (CGR) of 15% between 2023 and 2028 to reach a value of approximately USD 6.96 billion by 2028. Whereas the global ice cream market size reached US $ 70.6 billion in 2022. Amul ice cream began its journey on 10th March 1996 in Gujarat and with its superior quality, gained the highest market share in a short time. Millets market size was valued at $9.95 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $14.14 billion in 2028, growing at a CAGR of 4.49% from 2021 to 2028. World export of millet has increased from USD 380 million in 2019 to USD 402.7 million in 2020. Major exporter of millets is USA($48M), Russian federation ($12.3M), Ukraine ($30.1M), India ($26.1M), China, Netherlands, France ($11.5M), Poland and Argentina.

For the preparation of millet ice cream, the major ingredient includes milk beside millet. As milk is composed of 87 % water and 13 % solids. The solids portion include proteins, carbohydrates, water soluble vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients in milk help make it nature’s most nearly perfect food. It is a complete protein because it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids in proportions resembling amino acids requirement. Millet is rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. The insoluble fiber in millet is known as a “prebiotic”, which supports good bacteria in your digestive system also helps to reduce the risk of colon cancer. Flour made by soaking millets overnight is healthier as soaking breaks down the phytic acid in them and makes digesting millets easily. Niacin content of millets is higher than all other cereals but lacks essential amino acid lysine which is supplemented by milk (691 mg, 33 % RDI) in this product. Ice creams developed with ragi, barnyard millet, foxtail millet, kodo millet or mix of all these were popular. Aathiyam a 32-year-old person started this millet-based ice creams in Coimbatore with 24 different flavors for the first time. A special millet-based ice cream, developed by Thanjavur-based Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (NIFTEM-Tanjavur), was introduced for Delhi market in an ASSOCHAM Food processing Technologies of CSIR. The millet ice cream has 59 % lesser calories and 22 % lesser carbohydrates than the regular ice cream and 43 % lesser fat than the regular vanilla ice cream. Unlike other ice cream, the millet ice cream has omega-3 fatty acids which are generally not available in vegetarian food. Edible cones and icecream containers for the ice cream have also been developed by the institute using jack fruit fiber. At present India’s total jack fruits production amounts to 1,705 million tons; for each kilo of this fruit, only 300 grams account towards useful intake and the rest remains unutilized. IIFPT’s jack fruit fiber-based cone is an initiative that paves way to make use of what is being discarded as waste. The texture, flavor, aroma, and taste for the cones were highly acceptable and rich in fiber (12.93 %) and (6.9 %).

There is also a recent study on comparison of ice cream cones developed from composite refined wheat, ragi, bajra and composite flour which received similar sensory characteristics individually. The octenyl succinyl anhydride (OSA) esterified pearl millet (Pennisetum typhoides) starch was evaluated as fat replacer in soft serve ice cream in comparison to other fat replacers viz. inulin, whey protein concentrate-70 and commercial starch.  Incorporation of finger millet in ice cream resulted in reduction in the amount of stabilizer used and effectively functioned as fat replacer in ice cream. Ice cream mixes containing carbohydrate-based fat replacers exhibit a viscous behavior because of the capability for imbibing water, which would increase the viscosity of the system.

Despite millets’ multiple health benefits, they also contain antinutrients compounds that block or reduce your body’s absorption of other nutrients and may lead to deficiencies. One of these compounds phytic acid, interferes with potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium uptake. Various ingredients that affect the quality of ice cream include sugar, fat, MSNF, water, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. Higher sugar addition causes bad effects like, bland taste due to lacking sweetness. Mask desired flavor. Fat per cent level can affect the textural behavior of the product. The flow behavior of the mix is an important parameter as the mix undergoes temperature dependent changes during pasteurization and it has to pass/flow through process equipment’s/pipes in continuous systems. In general fat replacers have high water binding capacity and hence contribute to increased viscosity. The consistency index of all the ice cream mix decreased after 50 °C, which might be due to disruption of swollen molecules with higher shear rate. The flow behavior index values are more than unity at higher temperatures due to the swelling of molecules of added fat replacers leading to non-Newtonian behavior, while the mix behaved like a pseudoplastic material at lower temperatures. Overrun in ice cream is mainly the functionality of milk proteins, emulsifiers and to certain extent milk fat. the melting rate of ice cream is dependent on fat destabilization which in turn is related to the viscosity of ice cream mix and its ingredients. Viscosity of ice cream mix increased due to higher dietary fiber content. The emulsion formed during mixing is aerated to induce air bubbles in mix in absence of adequate fat emulsion formation might have adversely affected. There was a decrease in pH and increase in titratable acidity as the quantity of malted ragi flour increased. This change may be due to the hydrolysis of fats, producing fatty acids and production of ascorbic acid during germination process. he melt-down rate of ice cream is affected by many factors, including the amount of air incorporated, the nature of the ice crystals, and the network of fat globules formed during freezing. In general, as the viscosity increases, the resistance to melting and smoothness increases

Processing of the grain for many involves primary (wetting, dehulling and milling) and secondary (fermentation, malting, extrusion, flaking, popping, and roasting) operations. Processing involves the partial separation and / or modification of the three major constituents of the cereal grain the germ, the starch-containing endosperm, and the protective pericarp. Mechanical Processing Technologies Decortication Milling and sieving Dry Milling, Wet milling, Alkali processing, Traditional and Bioprocess Technologies, Germination, or malting l Fermentation and enzymatic hydrolyzation Popping or puffing Soaking and cooking l Other Processing Technology Application of high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) are other improved techniques.

Millet and sorghum malt production is a traditional practice in Africa, where malt is used in lactic acid- and alcoholic-fermented beverages and infant food production. Grits, flour, and meals from cereals such as millet, sorghum, and corn are now common items in the market. Soft biscuits and cookies are being made using sorghum, maize and wheat composites, while cakes and non-wheat breads have become a subject of increasing scientific and technological enquiry, showing encouraging results. People who love to eat are always the best people. To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

1 M.Sc Food Technology, Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University Anantapur (JNTUA), OTPRI Ananthapuramu, Andhra Pradesh, India

2 Senior Research Fellow, ICAR- National Dairy Research Institute, Southern Regional Station, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India 

  1. mail ID: kkousalya128@gmail.com