Ice-Creams Vs Frozen Desserts

Many consumers find it very difficult to distinguish between ice-cream and other related products such as frozen desserts. The fact that both products are packaged in a similar manner makes it even more difficult to ascertain if a product is really an ice-cream or not. Deceptive advertising makes the ice-cream and frozen desserts appear one and the same thing. But this is far from the truth. As a consumer, it is your right to know what you are buying since you are entitled to value for your money. Keep reading to discover the differences between ice-cream and frozen desserts.



By definition, any food item labeled ‘ice-cream’ should contain at least 20% milk solids and 10% milk fat by weight. Sweeteners account for about 15% by weight. The premium ice-cream brands contain more milk fat by weight, usually 14% to 18%. Both cream and milk are used during production.


Frozen dairy desserts

A frozen dairy dessert is made from milk that lacks butterfat. Therefore, the percentage of milk fat in a frozen dairy dessert is below 10%. Besides, frozen dairy desserts have vegetable oils and fats such as coconut oil and palm kernel oil and has more ‘overrun,’-the quantity of air that is whipped into the product to make it fluffier.


The crux of the matter

Manufacturers who produce frozen dairy desserts claim that public demand for ice-cream options led to the introduction of frozen dairy desserts. On the other hand, dairy farmers and manufacturers of original ice-cream products in various parts of the world complain that frozen dairy desserts pose unfair competition to ice-cream. The former argue that consumers are free to make their choices in a free market economy.


Ice-Creams vs Frozen Desserts

From the above definitions, it is evident that there are definite criteria that any food item labeled ‘ice-cream’ must meet in terms of ingredients and processing so as to qualify to be ice-cream.



  1. The ingredients


Whereas ice-cream is made from milk and dairy fat, frozen dairy desserts are made from vegetable oils and fat. In terms of constitution, ice-cream must contain at least 10% milk fat by weight. This is the standard set by Food administration agencies all over the world. This is a very clear line separating frozen dairy desserts from ice-cream.

     2. The process


While the ingredients in ice-cream are quite simple- milk fat, other milk solids, air and sweeteners, the process of manufacturing ice-cream is quite complex. Ice-cream is made when ingredients are emulsified making a foamy mixture. It is usually a delicate and more complex process compared to manufacture of frozen dairy desserts.


  1. Price


The price of ice-cream is definitely higher than the price of frozen dairy desserts. This creates an unfair competition among ice-cream and frozen dairy desserts since the products appear similar on the surface. The price difference can be traced to cheaper ingredients and a not so complex process involved when making frozen dairy desserts as compared to making ice-cream.


  1. The health Debate


The health benefits of coconut oil are under sharp focus since it is contains high amounts of saturated fats that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. But proponents argue that the fats in coconut oil are not the dangerous types. Other studies have also shown that frozen dairy deserts have harmful trans fats and saturated fats, both of which can cause cardiovascular diseases.


How to Differentiate Between Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts?


Ice-cream and frozen dairy deserts are packaged in an identical manner. To increase the confusion, the two taste the same. It is not surprising then that for many consumers, the two are one and the same thing. To spot the difference, you must be a smart consumer. Look at the labels closely. You will find the labeling ‘frozen dessert.’ If you are buying genuine ice-cream, steer clear of any product labeled ‘frozen dessert.’ However, if you are lactose intolerant individual, a frozen dessert comes to your rescue.


Bottom Line


  1. Ice-cream contains a minimum of 10% milk fat. Anything less than this is considered to be a frozen dessert.


  1. Ice-cream is creamier and richer in flavor than frozen deserts.


  1. The process of making ice-cream is more complicated and takes more time compared to making frozen desserts.


  1. Ice-cream is more expensive than frozen desserts and for a good reason.


  1. Ice-cream is more nutritious than frozen desserts.





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