Breyers Ice Cream Does Not Melt-Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
A viral video claims that Breyers ice cream does not melt because it uses “modified milk ingredients” and not actual dairy products.
Claims that Breyers ice cream doesn’t melt are both truth and fiction.
That rumor started with a video that was posted on YouTube under the heading “You Will Never Eat This Ice Cream Again, Sickening Results!” in January 2016 at a channel operated by “Mr. Eastcoatsman.” By mid-may, the video had been viewed nearly 2 million times.
The video demonstrates that Breyers brand ice cream doesn’t melt when left at room temperature for 10 days because it’s made with “modified milk ingredients.” Other ice cream brands made with “milk and cream,” meanwhile, melted quickly.
The central claim that Breyers products (and other major brands) resist melting are true —but, oddly enough, the claim that these products are “ice cream” is false. Because Breyers does not meet specific FDA criteria for ice cream, these products are marketed at “frozen dessert products,” not ice cream.
FDA has published very specific guidelines for what constitutes ice cream. It’s defined as “food produced by freezing, while stirring, a pasteurized mix consisting of one or more of the optional dairy ingredients specified.” Beyond that, the FDA has specific requirements that the weights of milkfat and total milk solids, as well as other ingredient ratios.
Products that don’t meet these guidelines — including some, but not all, Breyers products — cannot be marketed as ice cream. Breyers has taken to the FAQ section of its website to explain why it markets products that don’t meet FDA ice cream guidelines as “frozen dessert products” and what it means for consumers:
5) What is a Frozen Dairy Dessert?
Frozen Dairy Dessert products are made with many of the same high-quality ingredients that are commonly found in Ice Cream – like fresh milk, cream and sugar – and offer a great taste and even smoother texture. According to the FDA, in order for a product to be labeled ice cream, it needs to meet two key requirements:
Not less than 10% dairy fat
A percentage of overrun that results in a finished product weighing more than 4.5 pounds per gallon
Anything that does not meet both of those requirements is not considered ice cream.
6) Why did Breyers make the change to Frozen Dairy Dessert?
Our consumers are at the center of every recipe decision we make. We work hard to understand what people want most and work to give them the best possible product experience. People have told us they have various flavor or texture preferences. For example, some tell us that they want a smoother texture, which is what we’re able to deliver with our Frozen Dairy Dessert products.
7) Does Frozen Dairy Dessert taste different than Ice Cream?
We have conducted several national taste tests across different flavor profiles to determine how our Frozen Dairy Dessert products perform against ice cream on important product attributes. In these side by side taste tests, our fans told us they liked the new recipe just as much as the original.
The ultimate measure of consumer feedback is whether our consumers are purchasing the product. Breyers Blasts!, which has a Frozen Dairy Dessert standard of identity, is the most popular and fastest-growing segment of our business.
8) Are there nutritional benefits to Frozen Dairy Dessert?
Frozen Dairy Dessert tends to have less fat than ice cream.
9) Are there Breyers flavors that are not Frozen Dairy Dessert?
Yes, Breyers offers a wide range of products to meet the different taste, nutritional, and value needs of consumers. Breyers continues to offer many flavors of ice cream, including Natural Vanilla, Natural Strawberry, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip and Coffee.
10) What is the packaging difference between Ice Cream and Frozen Dairy Dessert?
These products follow all Legal & Regulatory requirements for packaging, and thus claim Frozen Dairy Dessert on the front of pack. Additionally, the ingredient list and nutritional information is updated to reflect changes.
So, now that we’ve established why ice cream is different than frozen dessert products — why don’t frozen dessert products melt? As it turns out, the story went viral in 2012 when a mother from Ohio discovered that Walmart Great Value Ice Cream Sandwiches didn’t melt after an entire morning in 80 degree temperatures.
Consumer Reports enlisted food scientists to uncover why these products didn’t melt at the time. They noted that the non-melting products had a rubbery, gummy feel while the real ice cream products melted cleanly in the mouth and left little residue behind. The common bond between the non-melting products were ingredients like guar gum, calcium sulfate and monoglycerides that are used to control the melting rates of frozen products and to prevent large crystal formations from forming in the products.
When it comes to whether or not these additives are safe to consume, Linda Greene, a food scientist at Consumer Reports, explained that anyone who eats processed foods eats these additives on a regular basis:
We’re talking about FDA approved additives. In the world of processed food, these are common ingredients. So, if your child is eating ice cream, soup, salad dressing, even some yogurts, they’re likely eating gums.
So, it’s true that some “frozen dessert products” made by Breyers and other major labels resist melting at room temperature over long periods of time. However, these products technically aren’t considered ice cream, and the FDA considers additives used to make them safe.