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Ice Cream Calculator

Below, you'll find the ice cream calculator I use to balance my mixes. It's very much a work in progress. And may well contain mistakes!

​If you do spot any mistakes or have any suggestions of things you'd like to see added, please let me know.

How it works​

​Hopefully this is pretty obvious. Add your data and measurements to the green cells. This should update the pink cells.

​Once you've added your information, compare the numbers in the "Total %" row to the guidelines I've added below the calculator. If your numbers are way off, then your mix is probably unbalanced and you're likely to have problems!

​"Relative Sweetness" is a measure of how sweet the mixture is. It's relative to the sweetness of Sucrose. So if you only have Sucrose in your mix, Relative Sweetness will be equal to the percentage of Sugar in the mixture.

"Overrun" is the amount of air that the ice cream maker has added to ​your mixture, as a percentage.

If you're adding fruit to your mixture, check out the Sugar and Other Solids percentages for loads of different fruit at the bottom of the page. You'll need to add these values at the top of the calculator before you add your fruit weights.​

The calculator​

Mix Composition Guidelines

The approximate compositions of commercial ice creams (taken from the book Ice Cream by Goff & Hartel)...

Ice cream

Fat %

MSNF %

Sugars %

Stabilizers %

Total solids %

Nonfat ice cream

< 0.5

12-14

18-22

1.0

28-32

Low-fat ice cream

2-5

12-14

18-21

0.8

28-32

Light ice cream

5-7

11-12

18-20

0.5

30-35

Gelato

4-8

11-12

16-22

0.5

36-43

Reduced fat ice cream

7-9

10-12

18-19

0.4

32-36

Standard ice cream

10-12

9-10

14-17

0.2-0.4

36-38

Premium ice cream

12-14

8-10

13-16

0.2-0.4

38-40

Superpremium ice cream

14-18

5-8

14-17

0-0.2

40-42

Frozen yogurt: regular

3-6

9-13

15-17

0.5

30-36

Frozen yogurt: nonfat

< 0.5

9-14

15-17

0.6

28-32

Sherbet

1-2

1-3

22-28

0.4-0.5

28-34

Useful data

Egg Weights​

Egg

Small

Medium

Large

X-Large

Jumbo

Yolk

13 g

15 g

17 g

19 g

21 g

White

25 g

29 g

33 g

37 g

42 g

Composition of Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit

Water %

Sugar %

Other Solids %

Total Solids %

Fat %

Apple

85

11

4

15

Apricot

85

10

5

15

Avacado

68

1

31

32

24

Banana

74

19

7

26

Blackberry

85

9

6

15

Blackcurrant

81

10

9

19

Blueberry

77

20

3

23

Cherry (Morello)

85

11

4

15

Cherry (Sweet)

83

13

4

15

Clementine

87

10

3

13

Coconut

45

5

50

55

36.5

Cranberry

87

8

5

13

Currant

16

66

18

84

Date (dried)

20

65

15

80

Elderberry

81

7

12

19

Fig

80

13

7

20

Fig (dried)

25

54

21

75

Gooseberry

87

10

3

13

Grape

81

16

3

19

Grapefruit

89

9

2

11

Greengage

81

14

5

19

Guava

81

7

12

19

Jackfruit

73

15

12

27

Kiwi

84

10

6

16

Lemon

90

3

7

10

Lime

91

2

7

9

Lychee

82

17

1

18

Mandarin

87

10

3

13

Mango

82

13

5

18

Medlar

87

4

9

13

Musk Melon

87

12

1

13

Nectarine

88

9

3

12

Orange

86

10

4

14

Papaya

88

2

10

12

Passion Fruit

77

13

10

23

Peach

88

9

3

12

Pear

84

10

6

16

Pepper

91

3

6

9

Persimmon

81

16

3

19

Pineapple

85

13

2

15

Plum

84

12

4

16

Prune

24

55

31

86

Pumpkin

91

3

6

9

Quince

83

8

9

17

Rasberry

84

6

10

16

Redcurrant

85

8

7

15

Rhubarb

94

2

4

6

Star Fruit

91

4

5

9

Strawberry

90

6

4

10

Tomato

94

3

3

6

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 44 comments
Johnny - January 11, 2018

Fantastic website!
In the The Calculator, you have af row that says PAC. what is PAC?

Reply
    Carl - January 11, 2018

    Hi Johnny

    PAC is the “Potere Anti Congelante”.

    It’s basically a measure of how much the freezing point has been depressed and therefore how soft the ice cream will be.

    The higher the PAC the softer the ice cream.

    I will be writing some info on this! But for now you can read more here:

    https://www.dairyscience.info/index.php/ice-cream/228-ice-cream-hardness.html

    Thanks

    Reply
      Sai karthik - March 28, 2018

      Hi can any tell me how to increase the PAC value to 35 or 40 in maki g gelato

      My ingredients are

      Milk
      Cream 25%fat
      Sugar
      Maltodextrin
      Skimmed milkpowder
      Base 50 from pregel

      I need recipe for 1000 frams of mix which has PAC value 35 or 40 please help me!

      Reply
        Carl - March 29, 2018

        Add more sugar!

        Reply
Suppadej - January 29, 2018

There are absolutely beneficial to read, yet I’m still wondering, what are counted as “Total Solid.” They are sugar, fat and MSNF, aren’t they?

Reply
    Carl - January 30, 2018

    Yep that’s right!

    Reply
Pilar - February 1, 2018

I am just beginning with ice-cream for my own use and I feel passionate about doing it well from the beginning. I live in Spain so I prefer recipe books with measurements in grams, after hours of looking I bought 2 books, the English one is titled “Hello My name is Ice Cream, the art and Science of the Scoop” by Dana Cree and “Helados Caseros, la guía definitiva hacia el helado perfecto” by María José Mancebo.
In my obsessive understanding about ice cream recipes without eggs, yesterday I came across your site. Thank you so much is very valuable and your charts…I bless you for it.
I have an orchard with about 60 varieties of fruit trees, specially citrus type. Where can I find the need information about the fruits which are not on your list? I have tried without success. I see there is some significant differences amongst lemon, lime, orange and will love to know the contents of bergamot citrus fruit, o please recommend me which one in your chart to use as a substitute.
I will also love to obtein the values of
Green or black Zapote (Pouteria sapota, I believe)
Feijoa fruit
Fresh ginger

About your charts, where do I put the amount of Lecithin in the calculator?
To make any citrus ice cream I figure I have to put the juice not the pureed pulp, so this will not affect the solids

Many thanks for all plus for your attention

Reply
    Carl - February 8, 2018

    Hi Pilar,

    Sorry about the delay getting back to you!

    I’ve also got the Dana Cree book and I think it’s really good with some interesting stuff on the science which I hadn’t thought about.

    I’m not sure where you’d get the information on fruits that aren’t on my list. I copied the list from Ices: The Definitive Guide.

    This site could be useful:
    https://www.eatthismuch.com/

    It suggests Bergamot Oranges are:
    87% Water
    9% Sugar
    4% Other Solids
    https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/view/bergamot-oranges,139827/

    As for the Lecithin, I would combine it with any other Stabilizers and put it in the Stabilizers cell.

    I hope that helps!

    Carl

    Reply
callie - February 21, 2018

hello! i’m experimenting with creating healthy ice cream for my nieces and grandparents and am wondering if you have a downloadable excel sheet for your ice cream calculator as my internet connection isn’t too fantastic and having it will make things a whole lot easier by being able to perform the adjustments using my laptop in the kitchen even without internet.
much appreciated!!

Reply
    Carl - February 28, 2018

    Hi Callie,

    I think if you click on the icon in the bottom right hand corner, it will open the spreadsheet in another window and you should be able to download it from there.

    I hope that helps!

    Reply
Philip Barnea - February 28, 2018

I love your site – it has just the right combination of science and help for the home ice cream maker. I just got the Musso ice-cream maker the 1.5 quart version based on your review and already love it.
Is it possible to download a copy of your calculator? I have no idea how to build it in excel and it would be a great help. I don’t mind paying either, after all, you put in all the work.

Reply
    Carl - February 28, 2018

    You should be able to download it from the link in the bottom right hand corner Philip. Good choice with the Musso by the way!

    Reply
Luke - March 1, 2018

Hi Carl,

Many thanks for this great content.

What about other ingredients that also contain fat and other solids? For example, if you are making chocolate ice cream, which requires chocolate, and cocoa powder, how do we account for the fat and snf (protein and carbohydrates), in these two ingredients (which is substantial)? Shouldn’t they also form part of the base mix calculation, as they will influence the overall texture, and viscosity of the end product?

Shouldn’t all ingredients be analyzed for the fat/snf/and sugar compositions/contributions, and not just the ingredients that make up the base (cream, milk, sugar, eggs)?

Thank you in advance!

Luke

Reply
    Carl - March 12, 2018

    Yes chocolate ice cream is particularly difficult for this very reason. I’ll see if I can update the calculator to accommodate chocolate and cocoa powder…

    Reply
dylan - March 10, 2018

Hello, may i know “Recommended MSNF” number is? For Relative Sweetness to you usually what number will be too sweet and freezing point be too low? PAC usually which number will reflect too soft ? looking forward to hear from you

Thank you!

Reply
Keelan - March 14, 2018

Hi, thanks for the calculator it’s excellent.. I’ve noticed that increasing sugar reduces fat percentage. Could you explain the correlation please.

Reply
    Carl - March 17, 2018

    Hi Keelan,

    It’s just that as you increase the amount of one ingredient, the percentage of the other ingredients will decrease as there as less in proportion to the total.

    I hope that explains it!

    Reply
Terence - April 28, 2018

Hi Carl,

U have a great spreadsheet. I am from Singapore and crazy for durian ice cream. Which is quite a unique fruit, in asia we call it king of fruit. It will be a great help if you are able to advise on a formula to create the Durian gelato. I am crazy enough to buy a gelato machine without even knowing the recipe. I just manage to get 4 recipes from the maker. A pistachio, chocolate, coffee, green tea. Thanks in advance.

Reply
    Carl - May 4, 2018

    How about this:

    340g Milk
    150g Cream
    100g Sugar
    25g Dextrose
    30g Skimmed Milk Powder
    5g Stabilizer
    350g Durian

    Reply
Tika - May 11, 2018

Hi Carl,
Do you think that it is possible to download the spreadsheet as I would like to adapt it to vegan Ice cream?
Thanks Tika

Reply
    Carl - May 11, 2018

    Hi Tika,

    If you view the full size workbook by clicking in the bottom right hand corner can you not download it from there? It’s online online so I’m not sure how to make it downloadable if not!

    What do you want to add? Maybe I can add it to the existing one…

    Carl

    Reply
Tika - May 24, 2018

Hi Carl I would like to add cashew milk, coconut milk and coconut oil and cocoa butter. Mostly out of curiosity

Reply
    Carl - May 30, 2018

    OK, I’ll ad them. Have you not managed to download the spreadsheet successfully?

    Reply
Tika - June 1, 2018

I downloaded it but part of it goes funny when I open it on google docs
If i want to use glucose syrup what is the kind of sugar I have to fill in?
Thanks

Reply
Allif - August 5, 2018

Hi Carl, I’m using guar gum as my stabilizer. it’s only 5 gram with the total of 1kg ice cream. The end result was too thick. I can’t even barely put it in my ice cream machine because the bottom part freeze quickly. Maybe you can help me with some advices, would be really appreciate it!

Thanks

Reply
    Carl - August 6, 2018

    Hi Allif,

    Was it very thick before you put it in the machine? In which case try less guar. If it’s thickening up too much in the machine then maybe you dont have enough sugar?

    Carl

    Reply
Ana - August 16, 2018

Hi! i was wondering, i am making dairy free ice cream and sugar free. i want to use guar gum, since i dont have locust bean gum where i am. how much would i use?

Reply
    Carl - August 21, 2018

    Hi Ana,

    Usually the gums would make up 0.1 – 0.5 % of the total weight. You can use the ice cream calculator to work out the weights and percentages. Be careful with the Guar though as too much will give the ice cream a very chewy texture!

    Thanks,
    Carl

    Reply
Ann Cook - August 19, 2018

Finally I know why my icecream is like sweet cold butter!!! Thanks for your help, now I can fix the mix and enjoy.

Reply
Anne - September 2, 2018

Hi Carl,

I’m deep into the literature, trying to find a way to understand stabilizers as percentage of my gelato base. Please forgive my ignorance, but if I’m using a combo of LBG and guar as my stabilizer, is it the total weight of ALL my ingredients (in a vanilla gelato, for instance, milk, cream, sugar/dextrose, milk powder) that I am basing my .5% on, or just the DRY ingredients? Second, would a 50/50 LBG/guar mix be best, or some other ratio?

Again my apologies,
Anne

Reply
    Carl - September 4, 2018

    Hi Anne,

    It’s the total weight of all your ingredients. Just add everything to the calculator and it should do the rest.

    50/50 LBG/Guar is a good place to start. If you find the ice cream is a bit chewy, reduce the Guar.

    And let us know how you get on!

    Thanks
    Carl

    Reply
Toni - September 24, 2018

Hi Carl, thanks for providing so much useful information! I am creating my first recipe for chocolate gelato and just have a couple of questions.
According to the table of Mix Composition Guidelines for gelato my recipe is balanced. Fat is 4.4%, MSNF is 11.3%, sugar is 17.9%, total solids is 49.3%.The calculator is telling me that the recommended MSNF is 10%. Can you tell me why this is recommended when the guideline for gelato is 11-12% MSNF. Will such a small difference be noticed and should I go with the calculator recommended MSNF or the gelato guidelines?
Also, do you have any information on recommended PAC and how additions such as alcohol will affect this? I haven’t tried my recipe yet, but I’m thinking that it may be too hard due to the low fat percentage of gelato, I’m looking at adding alcohol to make it softer but don’t know how much to add. Is there any way to work this out or just trial and error?

Reply
    Carl - September 26, 2018

    Hi Toni,

    Yes the recommended MSNF in the calculator is a bit vague (and imperfect) and should only be used for general guidance. Your 11.3% will be fine.

    There is a way to work out the effect of alcohol on the PAC but I haven’t done it yet. I will definitely be adding to the calculator once I have!

    Spirits will have a considerable effect on the PAC though, so for now I’d try adding a tablesppon at a time and see how you go.

    I hope that helps!
    Carl

    Reply
Bryon - September 25, 2018

Carl,

Thanks so much for the site and the calculator! They have been invaluable! I am new to the world of stabilizers other than eggs and am trying to work on some texture and iciness issues in some of my ice creams. I have a question about egg yolks and your calculator…since they are stabilizers, is there a way to figure them in to the stabilizer formula? And if I add one of the gums, should I pull back on the number of eggs I use?

Also, what about alcohol in ice cream? While I am not trying to make alcoholic ice cream, I know adding some in changes the PAC, but will it also affect the sugars and other factors? I am experimenting with sherbets and sorbets in particular and they seem to be really hard.

Thanks again.

Reply
    Carl - September 27, 2018

    Hi Byron,

    You mean add the eggs to the stabilizer column?

    Yes you can definitely cut back on the number of eggs you use if you add gums. In fact you could get rid of them altogther. The gums can stabilize (but not emulsify) as well or better than the eggs.

    The only reasons to use use eggs are for their flavour, richness, particularly egg like texture, or emuslfying qualities (although you can use Soy Lecithin instead here).

    There are plenty of superbly stabilized ice creams that don’t use eggs at all.

    Regarding alcohol and sugars, I’m not sure what you mean. Adding alcohol or increasing the sugar will help make you sherbets and sorbets softer. Sorbets in particular usually have very high sugar levels to keep them soft.

    Thanks
    Carl

    Reply
Mark - September 29, 2018

Dear Carl
Thank you for maintaining a very useful website. I’m totally new in gelato making and would ask you some questions.
1. I’ve researched on internet that gelato makers make the same milk base mix for all flavors in their pasteurizer then add the gelato paste or grinded fruit to each portion of milk base mix to make gelato. Does it affect to the balance? and should i do that way for all flavors or make every single flavor following the recipes created.
2. What is the difference between sucrose and dextrose as i can see in the calculator excel file, sucrose contains 100% sugar and dextrose contains 96% sugar. Its silly question but can i just use sucrose as it is popular?
3. I can see in your durian gelato recipe, the skimmed milk powder and durian are not in the list of ingredients of the calculator? Do we need to add everything we use in the calculator to make the recipe? Is the milk powder used when we want to increase the Fat and MSNF but doesnt want to use milk ( that significantly affect to the balance of the mix?

Thank you in advance.

Reply
    Carl - October 1, 2018

    Hi Mark

    1. I’m not sure I understand the question. But the order you do things in won’t affect the balance. The balance is just about the proportions of different ingredients you use.

    2. Dextrose is less sweet than sucrose and also lowers the freezing point more than sucrose. You can substitute sucrose for dextrose but the ice cream will be slightly sweeter and slightly harder.

    3. Milk powder is used to increase the solids and the proteins. This reduces the proportion of water (and therefore ice) and aids the structure of the ice cream.

    I hope that helps!
    Carl

    Reply
Ryan - October 6, 2018

Do the calculated percentages account for water being cooked off while making the custard? I have been assuming that is does not so I add water back in after cooking to get it up to the weight before cooking, which should account for any water lost. Is this the correct mentality?

Reply
    Carl - October 7, 2018

    Hi Ryan, we should always be trying to get rid of as much water as possible. So I’d recommend never adding water to a recipe. You increase the likelihood of an icy end result…

    Reply
      Ryan - October 10, 2018

      I guess my question is, say the calculator says your solids and fat% are right at the upper limit. Now say you cook the custard and evaporate 200g water. Unless you add water back in, the fat and solid % will be over the recommended amounts but by adding water back in, it would return the fat and solid% back to what was calculated originally? Or is the calculation assuming some water is being evaporated and accounts for that in the percentages. I apologize if this is confusing, it sounded better in my head.

      Reply
        Ryan - October 10, 2018

        Now that I think about it, I think a better way to word the question is, If say 200g of water was evaporated out ( I am not sure if this is a reasonable amount or not but just assume its the case for the example) would adding 200g of water back in result in the same %’s as the original calculation provided?

        Reply
          Carl - October 10, 2018

          OK so to answer the question: no the calculator doesn’t take account of the evaporated water.

          So I suppose you’re right, to make the mixture reflect the original calculation you’d need to add the water lost through evaporation.

          You’d have to cook the mixture for a long time though to make the loss worth rectifying.

          As I say, I’ve never heard of anyone adding water to a mixture!

          Reply
          Ryan - October 15, 2018

          Thank you, that makes sense.
          Your website really is quite amazing.

          Reply
Juan - November 11, 2018

By any chance does this work for popsicles?

Reply

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