Ice cream making business can be initiated as small scale basis with low startup capital investment. Ice cream making is a wonderful small business idea that any individual can explore with making handsome money out of it.
Ice cream is a frozen blend of a sweetened cream mixture and air, with added flavorings. A wide variety of ingredients are allowed in ice cream, but the minimum amounts of milk fat, milk solids (protein + lactose + minerals), and air should be maintained in ice cream making.
Ice cream must contain at least 10% milk fat, and at least 20% total milk solids, and may contain safe and suitable sweeteners, emulsifiers and stabilizers, and flavoring materials. The finished ice cream must weigh at least 4.5 pounds per gallon and there must be at least 1.6 pounds of total solids (fat + protein + lactose + minerals + added sugar) per gallon, thus limiting the maximum amount of air (called overrun) that can be incorporated into ice cream.
MARKET OPPORTUNITIES FOR ICE CREAM MAKING
The per capita consumption of ice-creams in Nigeria is approximately 200 ml. per annum, while the average global per capita consumption is 2 liters. The lowest per capita consumption of ice-cream in the world leaves ample scope for Ice cream products in general in Nigeria as well as in northeastern states.
The increase in population, fast changing lifestyle increasing a percentage of youths in population in northeastern states will result in a satisfactory growth in the current market. Ice cream finds round the year market and is consumed in all class of people as readily available hygienic food for all ages. Ice cream is consumed more in cities. However, occasionally, particularly in marriages, meetings and social gatherings. It is being used even in villages and towns. The consumption of ice cream is likely to increase in future. There is a good scope for any new entrepreneur to venture in this field.
The frozen dairy production follows a clear seasonal pattern. Summer is the unchallenged season for eating ice cream and other related products. Production kicks up in March and April to fill retail and foodservice pipelines in the late spring and early summer. June is the highest production month of the year, but production remains strong through August to satisfy summer demand. Production declines through the end of the year.
ICE CREAM MAKING BUSINESS REGISTRATION
In starting ice cream making business, you will need to decide first the ownership pattern. Register accordingly at Corporate Affairs Commission. Obtain Trade License and register your business. As you are starting food item manufacturing, you will need to obtain permission from NAFDAC. Depending upon the manufacturing process they will guide you about what specific license you will need to have.
RAW MATERIALS FOR ICE CREAM MAKING
There is a wide range of ingredients and formulations (recipes) that can be used in ice cream. The major raw materials required for the production of ice-cream are milk, milk powder, cream or butter. Various other ingredients are sugar, flavors, stabilizer, colour powder.
Consumables are cups, paper wrapper, polyethene coated box (500 ml & 1000 ml. size) and carton packet. All the raw materials and consumables are locally available.
You will need the utilities like electric power and water at your factory premises.
ICE CREAM MAKING MACHINES
An ice-cream plant has two main sections namely (A) condensing section and (B) freezing
section. Besides, there is a host of other electrical and mechanical equipment along with piping.
The main equipment required are Refrigeration compressor, 5 TR capacity complete with motor and
accessories, Cooled condenser complete with piping, water spray assembly, Liquid receiver, M.S. Brine tank, Agitator fan assembly, Thermocole, Push Cart trolleys, Ice-cream freezer complete with extension, Valve, shut off valve etc., Electrical including motors ranging from ½ to 20 hp, Mechanical accessories such dehydrator.
You may also plan for an automatic set up. An automatic plan setup will provide you high production output with minimum manpower involvement.
ICE CREAM MAKING PROCESS
Ice cream is defined as a frozen dairy project, made by suitable blending and processing of milk cream and other milk products with sugar, flavors, stabilizer and creamy texture is formed by incorporation of air by agitating during the freezing process. The main steps in the production of ice cream are:
- Blend the Ice Cream Mixture
The milk fat source, nonfat solids, stabilizers, and emulsifiers are blended to ensure complete mixing of liquid and dry ingredients.
- Pasteurize Mix
Ice cream mix is pasteurized at 155°F (68.3°C) for 30 minutes or 175°F (79.4C) for 25 sec. The conditions used to pasteurize ice cream mix are greater than those used for fluid milk because of increased viscosity from the higher fat, solids, and sweetener content, and the addition of egg yolks in custard products.
Ice cream mix is homogenized (2500 to 3000 psi) to decrease the milk fat globule size to form a better emulsion and contribute to a smoother, creamier ice cream. Homogenization also ensures that the emulsifiers and stabilizers are well blended and evenly distributed in the ice cream mix before it is frozen.
- Age the Mix
Ice cream mix is aged at 40°F (5°C) for at least 4 hours or overnight. Aging the mix cools it down before freezing, allows the milk fat to partially crystallize and the gives the proteins stabilizers time to hydrate. This improves the whipping properties of the mix.
- Add Liquid Flavors and Colors
Liquid flavors and colors may be added to the mix before freezing. Only ingredients that are liquid can be added before the freezing, to make sure the mix flows properly through the freezing equipment.
The process involves freezing the mix and incorporating air. Ice cream mix can be frozen in batch or continuous freezers and the conditions used will depend on the type of freezer. Batch freezers consist of a rotating barrel that is usually filled one-third to one-half full with ice cream mix. As the barrel turns, the air in the barrel is incorporated into the ice cream mix.
- Add Fruits, Nuts and Bulky Flavorings (candy pieces, etc.)
Fruits, swirls, and any bulky type of flavorings (nuts, candy pieces, etc.) are added at this point. These ingredients can not be added before freezing or they would interfere with the smooth flow of the mix through the freezer.
HARDENS IN ICE CREAM MAKING
The ice cream is cooled as quickly as possible down to a holding temperature of less than -13°F(-25°C). The temperatures and times of cooling will depend on the type of storage freezer. Rapid cooling will promote quick freezing of water and create small ice crystals. Storage at -13°F(-25°C) will help to stabilize the ice crystals and maintain product quality.