Ice Cream Goes Southern, Okra Extracts May Increase Shelf-Life
While okra has been widely used as a vegetable for soups and stews, a new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), shows how okra extracts can be used as a stabilizer in ice cream.
Ice cream quality is highly dependent on the size of ice crystals. As ice cream melts and refreezes during distribution and storage, the ice crystals grow in size causing ice cream to become courser in texture which limits shelf life. Stabilizers are used to maintain a smooth consistency, hinder melting, improve the handling properties, and make ice cream last longer.
This study found that water extracts of okra fiber can be prepared and used to maintain ice cream quality during storage. These naturally extracted stabilizers offer an alternative food ingredient for the ice cream industry as well as for other food products.
View the abstract in Journal of Food Science.