Ice-cream is a delicious and nourishing food but to obtain the best result advanced technological equipment is necessary, able to produce an ice-cream perfect for the palate, but most important of all, hygienically safe. Pluto Ice Cream is extremely experienced in this area guaranteeing results by using machines and equipment produced by undisputed world leader in this sector: Carpigiani SPA in Bologna.
The process begins whit the pasteurization of individual fresh product (milk, eggs, cream) which establishes the mixture that must then become ice-cream. In every type of food bacteria are presents in a natural form. These multiply very quickly in a temperature of between 15-20 °C and 50-60 °C. Below or above this temperature, however, the bacterial proliferation is considerably slowed down. The aim of pasteurization is to abolish the presence of bacteria in ice-cream.
During this phase the mixture is brought to a temperature of between 65 and 85 °C (depending on the ingredients the ice-cream is composed of) and then rapidly cooled to a temperature of approximately 4 °C.
Parallel to the pasteurization of the ingredients, when the mixture is at a temperature of between about 60 and 75 °C, the phase of homogenization is undertaken, during this stage the fatty substances in the ice-cream are diminished and amalgamated so that the product becomes more creamy. This operative cycle is completed within a couple of hours at the maximum, after which the maturation phase begins whit the mixture must be stirred rapidly continuously (whipped or whisked) and kept to the temperature of about 4 °C.
The maturation facilities and increased absorption of the solid components present in the mixture to obtain a thicker final composition and the ability to permit air to enter more easily during the whipping or whisking phase. Maturation lasts for about 4-6 hours.
Whipping or whisking is the phase of the production process of ice-cream in which it passes from a liquid stage into that of a solid paste. This transformation in achieved thanks to the contemporary action of three elements:
During the whipping/whisking activity the mixture is rapidly brought to a temperature from roughly 4 °C to about -15 °C. Fast reduction of temperature avoids the solidification of water which would result in the formation of crystals of an undesired large dimension: the ice-cream turns out "smoother" and less lumpy.
It is during this phase that the mixture solidifies forming a solid paste which kept in continuous movement, englobing air and increasing volume developing into artisan gelato.
The main difference between artisan gelato and industrial ice-cream is the way in which air becomes incorporated in the mixture. In artisan gelato air is englobed in a natural way during the stirring phase, thanks to the movement of the mixture during the freezing stage.
On the other hand, in industrial ice-cream, air is insufflated in large quantities into the mixture through a pump. This process of production allows the ice-cram to double its volume (this is the reason that industrial ice-cream is sold according to volume and not weight!) with the same procedure soft ice-cream, or American ice-cream, appears softer and more voluminous regarding artisan gelato, even if its organoleptic characteristics result of an inferior quality.