How to store ice cream properly is one of the first issues to address in order to successfully run a gelato shop.
Whatever your frozen dessert is, from ice cream to gelato, preserving it is a key matter for your shop. A thoughtful preservation and storage it’s in fact what grants a flawless product to your customers, but also an efficient way to reduce pricey costs and waste.
Gelato is indeed a quite fragile delight. Storing it well is a crucial aspect of maintaining its quality and taste, which fade away pretty easily. Especially if you have an artisanal shop, the product’s shelf life is pretty limited!
Fortunately, when stored correctly, it retains its unique, rich, and creamy taste. That is undoubtedly what makes your customers come back again and again.
Last but not least, at MODALiTA we stress out the fact that top-notch equipment can improve your storage and overall your gelato quality over time.
In this blog post we’ll be sharing with you some precious advice, tips and best practices.
1. Temperature and air
The first question is: at what temperature ice cream and gelato should be stored and why?
A proper storage temperature is crucial for maintaining its texture and flavor.
Starting from the answer, gelato should always be stored at a temperature of -18°C (around 0°F) to ensure its quality is preserved.
Of course, you always have a temperature range within which gelato can stay for some time without losing its attributes. This range goes up to 20°F (-7°C) for ice cream to maintain its frozen state without significant loss. However, at this temperature, it will be relatively soft and close to melting. Ice cream can still be frozen up to 23°F (-5°C) for some time, but this is not recommended.
Diversely, when serving, gelato should ideally be between 10-20°F (-12 to -7°C) to ensure the best taste and consistency.
And don’t forget about the air! A key factor for a correct preservation lies in the air: always seal your frozen dessert with a good lid to incorporate the least air possible.
As we have just pointed out, temperature is key for perfect product maintenance.
But in which risks you may incur by poorly storing your ice cream?
First of all, storing gelato at a temperature higher than 0°F for too long could cause it to melt, lose its texture, and negatively affect the flavor. Gelato comes from a delicate balance of ingredients, including milk, cream and sugar. When not stored at the correct temperature, it can become grainy, icy, or even develop an unpleasant taste.
The worst case scenario is when its temperature goes above 40 degrees for more than two hours. In this case, you should consider doing the most unpleasant thing for a gelato maker: disposing of it.
This is due to bacteria. Bacteria in fact may pose a threat if ice cream remains at room temperature and begins to melt. And refreezing the melted ice cream will not eradicate the harmful bacteria.
Also, gelato’s worst and common enemy is temperature fluctuation. And this leads to our third point.
3. Is it possible to store ice cream overnight in a display case?
Indeed, this is a crucial point to remember: gelato DESPISES temperature fluctuations.
In an ideal scenario, freshly churned ice cream should be rapidly chilled to the lowest possible temperature, gradually thawed until it reaches a scoopable consistency, and enjoyed in a single serving.
Whenever ice cream experiences a rise in temperature, some of the enclosed ice crystals begin to melt. While this isn’t an issue if you plan on consuming the ice cream immediately, refreezing partially melted ice cream results in the formation of larger, crunchier ice crystals. This alteration compromises the creaminess of your ice cream.
There are two direct consequences of this problem.
The first is related to gelato display cases. In order not to get damage, display cases need to operate defrost cycles every 4-6 hours on average. Defrost cycles are necessary, but they alter for a short time the product’s temperature.
The second issue is related to the initial question: is it possible to store ice cream overnight in a display case?
Usually the very best way to taste gelato is consuming it on the same churning day. Even if a good artisanal product anyway can retain its flavor even the day after when well preserved, normally, storing it in a display case overnight is not highly recommended to safeguard its properties.
…fortunately, today top-notch visual display cases such as IFI’s are specifically designed to solve both these issues. Their innovative technology features a system that optimizes their defrost cycles by minimizing their impact. Whereas storing gelato in a good freezer is always the best option, this new technology allows you to even keep your gelato overnight in a display case from time to time.
This is the HCS hermetic technology (Hi-performance Closure System).
Here you can find some astonishing visual display cases implementing it.
Thanks to them, your product will be not just perfectly stored, but also enshrined and showcased as a precious, delicious, jewel.
One of these might be the best investment you could make for your gelato shop.
Get your hands on them now! Just reach out to us and get our best quote.
Customer care included!