10 Secrets to Perfect Homemade Ice Cream

According to GOST

What is the shelf life of ice cream?

The shelf life of ice cream is regulated by the national standard (GOST) R 52175-2003 “Cream, milk and ice cream. Technical conditions".

According to it, storage conditions and expiration date are set by the manufacturer .

The recommended shelf life cannot exceed 6 months if stored in freezers at a temperature of -18°C, which is optimal for storing this type of product.

Note on storing ice cream

In order for the delicacy to retain its taste and aroma for as long as possible, you should follow some rules when choosing it in the store and subsequently storing it at home:

  1. Integrity of packaging and appearance of the product. You should refuse to purchase ice cream if the wrapper is damaged and the treat itself has lost its original shape. This indicates improper storage and transportation. The product contains pathogenic microorganisms that can cause stomach upset. Repeated freezing negatively affects the taste, consistency and smell of the product, making it unsuitable for consumption.
  2. Focus on GOST, and not on manufacturer’s information. Thanks to this, the product will be consumed within the required time frame and will not lead to health problems.
  3. Storage temperature. The delicacy retains all its beneficial qualities at temperatures of at least -18 degrees. Otherwise, the shelf life will be significantly shorter. If the treat is placed in the refrigerator, it must be eaten within 24 hours.
  4. Re-freezing. It is strictly prohibited, as the consistency and taste of the product changes, and there is a high risk of poisoning.

Even if the product is stored under proper conditions, it is important to carefully inspect the treat before consumption and do not consume it in the following situations:

  • a white coating appeared on the chocolate glaze;
  • the delicacy has acquired an atypical consistency in which grains are found;
  • foreign tastes and odors are clearly felt - bitter, sour, metallic.

This product is unsuitable for consumption as it can cause numerous health problems.

Ice cream is a tasty and healthy treat that is loved by both children and adults. Despite the fact that it is stored in the freezer, there are frequent cases of premature spoilage of the product. Therefore, you should carefully select ice cream in the store, and then store it under the conditions specified by GOST. This will help preserve the taste of the product and will not lead to trouble.

What does it depend on?

The shelf life of ice cream depends on its composition, storage conditions, packaging and production technology.

Production technology

Soft ice cream produced using a freezer has no expiration date at all and should be eaten immediately.

In the production of factory-made ice cream, hardening - placing the products in special quick-freezing chambers, in which the temperature ranges from -25 to -35°C.

Large packages are hardened for 10-12 hours, small ones - for 40-50 minutes. Tempered ice cream hardens, its consistency improves, and the shelf life of such ice cream increases significantly .

What is the shelf life of champagne? Read about it here.


For the shelf life of ice cream, the fat content of the product and the presence or absence of fillers in it . The higher the fat content of the ice cream, the longer the ice cream can be stored without loss of quality.

Ice creams with a fat content of 15 to 20% have the longest shelf life, and those with a fat content of up to 6% have the shortest shelf life.

The presence of fillers in ice cream can significantly reduce the shelf life of the product, since the filler deteriorates faster than the main components.

The presence or absence of preservatives and additives in ice cream is also of great importance. According to Russian GOST, substances that inhibit the growth of microorganisms (preservatives) cannot be added to ice cream, however, some manufacturers circumvent this ban.

Ice cream with preservatives has a longer shelf life, but such products cannot be called healthy .


The container in which ice cream is packaged must be harmless to the product, prevent harmful microorganisms from entering the product and withstand temperatures down to -40°C.

Weighted ice cream packaged in large packaging containers for catering establishments has a shelf life that is one and a half times shorter than ice cream for individual consumption in small packaging containers (cups, briquettes, tubes, etc.).

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Storage conditions

Russian GOST approves special storage conditions for ice cream both in production and in public catering outlets and stores. Violation of storage conditions reduces the shelf life of ice cream and can lead to spoilage.

At what temperature is ice cream stored in the store? Optimal conditions for storing ice cream can usually only be created in production.

Storage of ice cream in wholesale stores should not exceed 5 days, and in retail stores it should not exceed 48 hours due to the fact that it is difficult to achieve the temperatures and humidity required for storing ice cream there.

The storage temperature of ice cream in retail establishments should not exceed -12°C.

Storage conditions in production and in stores

After ice cream (for example, ice cream) is produced and packaged, it goes into deep-frozen distribution chambers, where hardening .

For the procedure, 10-12 hours in the case of large packaging and several hours in the case of small packaging, but in such chambers the ice cream can be stored longer, up to 30 days.

The temperature is maintained from -25 to -35 degrees, and humidity is within 80-90%.

After the ice cream leaves the enterprise, it goes into the refrigerators of wholesale warehouses, where the permitted temperature should not exceed -12 degrees , and the shelf life should not exceed 5 days.

Finally, after transportation to stores, ice cream is stored at a temperature no higher than -14 degrees .

Cheese also has a certain shelf life, which you will learn about in this article.

How long does it take for it not to spoil in the freezer?

The fat content of the product is of decisive importance for the shelf life of various types of ice cream .

In a household freezer with a temperature of -18°C, packaged types of ice cream for individual consumption, manufactured in accordance with GOST and not containing preservatives, have the following shelf life:

  1. Dairy ice cream with filling is stored for 1 month, without filling - 45 days.
  2. Creamy ice cream with filling has a shelf life of 1.5 months, without filling it is stored for up to 2 months from the date of production.
  3. The ice cream is stored in freezers from 2 months (with filler) to 3 months (without filler).
  4. The shelf life of ice cream in waffle cups, popsicles and ice cream with cookies depends on its fat content, since in this case the container or additional components do not determine the shelf life of the product.
  5. The frozen dessert sorbet (sorbet) does not contain dairy products. Sorbet can be kept in the freezer at -18°C for no more than 45 days.
  6. Fruit and berry and aromatic ice cream using essences ( fruit ice ) can be stored in the freezer for 1.5 months from the date of production.
  7. Homemade ice cream made using household freezers has a limited shelf life due to the fact that it has not been hardened. Depending on the type of milk (pasteurized or homemade), the shelf life of such a product ranges from half an hour to 2 weeks if stored in a freezer.
  8. Ice cream cake , as a rule, contains fillers, so depending on the fat content, the shelf life in the freezer ranges from 1 to 3 months.

All these terms are typical only for natural ice cream made in compliance with the conditions of Russian GOST.

There are currently many types of ice cream on the Russian market, the shelf life of which reaches one year or even two years.

It is impossible to achieve such indicators without the use of many stabilizers and preservatives . In addition, such long-term storage of ice cream significantly affects the consumer qualities of the product, even if it remains safe to eat.

Therefore, it is better to avoid such ice cream and give preference to traditional types of delicacy made in compliance with the conditions of Russian GOST.

How to tell if a product has gone bad

When buying ice cream, pay attention to:

  1. In appearance. Crumpled briquettes and cups indicate that the product has been defrosted. When re-frozen, the taste and benefits of the product are lost.
  2. Packaging integrity. If it is damaged, there is a risk of harmful substances entering the product. Consequences: taste changes, possible intoxication of the body.
  3. Product storage location in the store. Ice cream is kept in separate freezers. Storage with other products is unacceptable.

Signs of spoiled ice cream:

  • foreign smell and taste - sour, salty;
  • mixed consistency;
  • the glaze is covered with a coating;
  • ice crystals on the surface.

You should not eat dessert even with one of these signs.

Is it possible to get poisoned by ice cream?

A dairy product can cause intoxication of the body if:

  • did not comply with the product conditions;
  • manufacturing technology was violated;
  • used low-quality raw materials.

How to properly store at home?

How long can you keep ice cream in your home freezer? At home, the only way to store ice cream is to place it in freezing devices , be it refrigerator freezers or separate freezers.

The temperature in the freezer should be at least -18°C; if it is higher, the ice cream can be stored for no more than 5 days .

If the freezer has a quick freezing function , which reaches a temperature of -20-25°C, then you can store ice cream longer than at a temperature of -18°C.

You will find recommendations for storing cottage cheese at home on our website.

How is ice cream stored at the enterprise?

Many modern refrigerators have a deep-freeze function. Therefore, at a temperature of -18, ice cream will be stored in accordance with the period specified by the manufacturer, up to six months.

If the temperature is above -18, it is recommended to adhere to the following time limits:

  • dairy - 1-1.5 months;
  • creamy - 1.5-2 months;
  • ice cream - 2-3 months.

Experienced manufacturers know how to properly store sweets so that they do not spoil. The goods are laid out on the shelves of the refrigerator at a temperature of -20...-30 °C. Optimal humidity is around 90%.

The manufacturer must take care to provide the future consumer with the most complete and reliable information about ice cream. The weight, production date, and expiration date are written in block letters on the label. If there is no expiration date, the label indicates how long after the release date the sweet can be used.

On each box, which includes dozens of units of the product, the name of the packer is recorded, how much one box weighs, how many pieces it holds, when the product was produced and the expiration date of the ice cream.

If the ice cream has expired or has not been stored properly, eating it could cause harm to a person. When a frozen dairy product begins to thaw and remains in a defrosted state for a long time, microorganisms begin to multiply in it, which affects its quality.

Repeated freezing is unacceptable. Melted ice cream should be consumed immediately; repeated freezing will deprive the product of its taste. A milk treat may have a snowy consistency; any other type of product is smooth. If storage standards are violated, part of the mass turns into ice.

If the shape of a cold treat is distorted, there is a possibility of secondary freezing. The taste of such ice cream will not be the same as it should be. High-quality products contain both natural ingredients and various additives

When purchasing, it is important to pay attention to studying the composition and shelf life of the product.

Soft ice cream has a shelf life of no more than half an hour if the temperature is between 12 and 15 negative degrees, and 15 minutes if the temperature is below minus 15 degrees.

The packaging of the milk or cream treat is also important. The containers are subject to requirements for harmlessness to the product, for tightness, protection against harmful microflora entering the product, and for withstanding low temperatures down to minus 40 degrees.

Ice cream in bulk, which is packaged in large containers for catering establishments, has a shorter shelf life than that packaged in small containers: in cups, tubes, briquettes, etc.

The frozen sorbet dessert does not contain milk. If you put it in a freezer set to minus 18 degrees, it can stay there for up to 45 days.

  1. It is advisable to sell hardened ice cream as quickly as possible in order to fully preserve the original quality of the product. However, in order to create a reserve for the period of current repairs of the enterprise and for the period of mass demand for the product in the summer, it becomes necessary to store ice cream for a long time.
  2. During storage, undesirable enlargement of ice and lactose crystals gradually occurs. This manifests itself the faster the higher the storage temperature, the more significant its fluctuations and the longer the reservation period.
  3. The enlargement of ice crystals is a consequence of several processes occurring simultaneously. In particular, it can be assumed that during ice cream storage the ability of some ineffective stabilizers and other components (for example, proteins) to bind water gradually deteriorates. Previously bound water is released and freezes, promoting the enlargement of crystals.
  4. During storage, ice cream easily picks up odors from the chamber air, as well as odors inherent in packaging materials. Sometimes the color changes, especially in popsicles.
  5. Chemical changes in the components of a product that cause undesirable taste defects are, as a rule, observed only in case of violation of the regimes and permissible storage periods.
  6. The weight loss of ice cream packaged in consumer containers in moisture- and breathable packaging after 0.5 months of storage can reach 0.2%, and after 3 months - 1.5%.
  7. The temperature of ice cream stored for long-term refrigerated storage should be as low as possible, which greatly contributes to the preservation of the original structure. In accordance with technical documentation that has been in force for a long time, ice cream is stored at manufacturing plants in chambers at an air temperature no higher than -30° C.
  8. It is allowed to store ice cream in chambers at an air temperature of -24°C with fluctuations of ±2°C, and in enterprises that do not have two-stage compression compressors, at a temperature of -20C with fluctuations of ±2°C.
  • ice cream with a mass fraction of fat up to 6% inclusive - 3 months;
  • ice cream with a fat mass fraction of over 6 to 11.5% inclusive - 4 months;
  • ice cream with a fat mass fraction from 12 to 20% inclusive - 5 months;
  • fruit and berry and aromatic - 3 months;
  • ice cream products - 2 months.

How to choose the right popsicle

Popsicle - ice cream in chocolate glaze on a stick. The date of creation is 1920. In the USSR, Eskimo was loved almost as much as ice cream. In the last two decades, popsicles have appeared on store shelves not with chocolate glaze, but with multi-colored “fruit” frosting made from concentrated juice. The second type of ice cream cannot be called healthy.

  • The popsicle should be smooth and free of dents (their presence means that the temperature regime was violated during storage).
  • The chocolate glaze should cover the filling perfectly evenly. It should not crumble or fall off.
  • Keep in mind that if the popsicle is made from quality ingredients, both the frosting and the sundae will melt at the same time.
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