Soft serve (also called creemee or soft ice cream) is a type of frozen dessert that is softer than ice cream and is dispensed from a machine instead of being served by hand.
We will soon be offering a soft serve ice cream business plan that will show you how to get started in the softserve business. It will help you plan for the success of your business and provide equipment lists and start up costs.
For now, we’d like to provide you with a background on the soft serve ice cream industry.
Where did soft serve ice cream come from?
It was invented by a chemical research team in Britain that discovered a method of doubling the amount of air in ice cream, which allowed manufacturers to use less of the actual ingredients, thereby reducing costs.
What’s the difference between soft serve ice cream and regular ice cream?
While similar to ice cream it is not technically ice cream. This “ice cream” became very popular amongst consumers who preferred the lighter texture.
Now, most major ice cream brands use this manufacturing process. It also made possible the soft ice cream machine in which an ice cream cone is filled beneath a spigot on order.
- Soft serve is generally lower in milk-fat (3% to 6%) than ice cream (10% to 18%).
- It is produced at a temperature of about -4 °C. Ice cream is stored at -15 °C. A warmer temperature allows the taste buds to detect more flavor.
- Soft serve contains air introduced at the time of freezing. The air content, called overrun, can vary from 0% to up to 60% of the total volume of finished product.
- For soft serve ice cream, it is generally accepted that the ideal air content should be between 33% and 45% of volume. More than this and the product loses taste, tends to shrink as it loses air, and melts more quickly than that with less air.
The right combination of air and temperature is as important to the taste of the finished product as the other ingredients.
How Soft Serve Ice Cream is Made
All ice cream, including soft serve must be frozen quickly to avoid crystallization. With soft serve, this is accomplished by a special machine at the point of sale. Pre-mixed product is introduced to the storage chamber of the machine where it is kept at -3 °C.
When product is drawn from the draw valve, fresh mix is introduced to the freezing chamber either by gravity or pump. It is then churned, frozen and stored until required.
3 Types of Premixed Soft Serve Products…
1. Fresh liquid
- Requires constant refrigeration until needed
- Can be stored for 5 to 7 days before spoiling by bacterial contamination
- Quality can be severely compromised by bacterial contamination; handlers must exercise caution to maintain quality
2. Powdered mix
- This is a dried version of the liquid mix.
- Advantages: Easy distribution; can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling
- Water must be added prior to being churned and frozen
- It should be refrigerated to 3 degrees Celsius prior to use, as airborne and waterborne bacteria can infect it immediately and can grow quickly if the product is warm
- Residual bacteria in the refrigerated storage compartment can also be activated by warm product being introduced
3. Ultra Heat Treated mix
- A liquid that has been sterilized and packed in sealed, sterile bags.
- Can last a very long time without refrigeration
- Can be poured into the soft serve freezer immediately upon opening
- It should be refrigerated to 3 degrees Celsius prior to use for the same reasons outlined for powdered mix.
- At the time of opening, quality can be guaranteed and bacterial counts are zero.
- Where it is available, health authorities consider it the safest form of soft serve mix on the market.
Soft Serve Ice Cream Business Plan
Do you need a business plan for your soft serve ice cream business? Soft Serve Business Plan – Click Here