How to Manufacture Soft Serve Powder

By Craig Murphy

Soft serve ice cream was first served in the late 1930s as the founder of Dairy Queen, J.F. McCullough, and Tom Carvel, the founder of the Carvel chain of ice cream parlors, collaborated to serve a frozen confection consisting of cream pumped with air according to the "National Post." Today's soft serve is typically made from a premixed powder or a ready-to-use liquid premix solution and is served with the use of specialized equipment to produce a frozen treat lower in fat than traditional ice cream according to Custom Creams. Soft serve powder contains a mixture of milk powder and various additives making the manufacture of it relatively complex.

Soft serve ice cream is a simple treat requiring a complex manufacturing method.

Step 1

Obtain raw milk from the dairy and separate and standardize the milk compound. This is completed through the pasteurization process and separation of milk from cream in a centrifugal cream separator. Some cream may be added back into the milk after this product to create higher milk fat content. Discard or store excess cream.

Step 2

Preheat the mixture by an indirect method through heat exchangers; steam can be injected into the mixture for a direct heating method.

Step 3

Transfer the mixture into a evaporator. Boil the mixture in the vacuum of the evaporator at a temperature of 161 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The water vapor must be continuously removed in different stages, called effects, until there is 9 percent total solids content needed for the skim milk powder needed for soft serve mix, according to the United States Dairy Export Council.

Step 4

Pass the milk concentrate through the homogenizer into the atomizer and turn the concentrate into small droplets. Transfer the concentrate droplets into a drying chamber using a spinning atomizer and dry the droplets with a flow of hot air up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit. Create an agglomerated powder by recombining powder collected in the cyclones with the milk powder close to the atomizer.

Step 5

Move the resulting powder to a secondary drying bed when 6 percent moisture is achieved. Complete final drying to have a final milk powder product with a moisture content of 2 percent to 4 percent.

Step 6

Mix the skim milk powder with granulated sugar, sweetener syrup solids, butter powder, carboxymethyl cellulose, guar gum, emulsifier and carrageenan to produce a final soft serve powder.