This summer, temperatures have been soaring over the ice cream and frozen dessert battle between the dairy major Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation of the Amul brand of ice creams and Hindustan Unilever Limited, owner of the highly successful Kwality Walls brand.
Amul had put up an ad on the television media saying that one should have real ice cream made from healthy milk rather than frozen dessert made from vegetable fat or ‘Vanaspati’. The Bombay High Court said the ad was ‘guilty of disparaging a rival product’
These wars have been fought every year between ice cream makers and frozen dessert manufacturers but this time the battle has reached the drawing room in Indian households leaving consumers wondering what would be better to consume in respect to health and nutrition.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has classified ice creams as ‘dairy based dessert or confections’ under the category of plain, medium or low fat depending on the percentage of total solids, milk fat, milk protein in it.
It has also classified frozen dessert as a product made by freezing pasteurized milk prepared with milk fat or vegetable oils or fat, milk fat is used for freezing purposes here.
It has been reported that Frozen desserts has captured about 40% of the total 1800 crore market, but is it really better than traditional ice creams and is it nutritious and healthy for us?
One of the reasons why companies are using vegetable oils, fats or Vanaspati is because they are much cheaper than dairy milk fat. They cost around ₹60 per kg while the milk fat is around ₹300 per kg. But it is a surprising fact that despite this, the prices of frozen desserts in the market are higher than dairy ice creams by 10-20 per cent.
Dietitian Sunita Roy Choudhary at B L Kapoor Hospital says that frozen desserts have more trans fats than dairy ice creams and that trans fats are bad for health and the reason why trans fatty acids are used in frozen desserts are because regular vegetable oils do not freeze.
We at foodnetindia believe that the consumers must be made aware of what is really in their ice creams and frozen desserts and it may be true that most people eating these frozen desserts for years together may not have even known that it was not a real ice cream but was a frozen dessert containing vegetable oils or vanaspati.