Ice cream business opportunity: emulsifier free

Talk about mouth feel
Talk about mouth feel

Last week I posted about new research fingering artificial emulsifiers in food as a potential contributor to inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome. I suggested that food companies look into removing these emulsifiers as the next big health food business opportunity.

As a follow-up I started looking into emulsifiers in some of my favorite foods. Sure enough they are present. But purveyors of fine foods are uneasy about these ingredients and are actively looking for alternatives. One example is ice cream. There are some all-natural brands, but they are few and far between. There’s a real opportunity –not just with ice cream– and I hope someone will step up.

Meanwhile, here’s my email exchange with my favorite local ice cream chain (read from the bottom up):

Hi David,

Thank you for voicing your concerns. We’ve noticed concern about these ingredients and as a result we have been requesting a mix without these ingredients from our dairy. We are also keeping our eyes out for an alternative to our current mix.

It has been difficult for us to find a product that is consistently available in the volume we need to sustain production. There just aren’t that many options right now.

It’s certainly an issue we think is important, and we hope that if we, and our customers, continue to ask for products without these ingredients we will start to see more of them pop up on the market.

Thanks again for your email. I hope you have a great day.


J.P. Licks 


As an ice cream lover I hate to be one of those pests who insists on making every treat a health food but there is new and fairly persuasive research indicating that synthetic emulsifiers like Polysorbate 80 could be harmful, especially to people who are susceptible to inflammatory bowel disease.

Here’s my blog post on the topic:

I won’t bother you about carrageenan for now but there are some issues there as well!



David E. Williams


Hi David,

Thank you for emailing us. We buy an ice cream mix base that includes the following ingredients:

Cream, Milk, Sugar, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup, Whey, Mono & Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Polysorbate 80, Carrageenan 

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.


J.P. Licks 


Date: 10 Mar 2015 21:30:56 -0400

To:  JP Licks

Subject: General

This message comes from the Contact form at our web site


LAST NAME: Williams

STORE: Coolidge Corner

SUBJECT: General

MESSAGE: Do your ice creams contain emulsifiers? If so, which ones?


March 16, 2015

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