Have you ever wondered what goes into making Chapman’s traditionally-decadent ice cream? As a family-run business, we like to say it takes a lot of love, a good measure of quality ingredients, and a dash of food science.
Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that! Here’s a step-by-step guide to our ice cream production process.
Step 1: We create the mix
At Chapman’s we start with fresh cream, from Ontario farms. We add other milk ingredients made from 100% Canadian Dairy, including skim milk powder, whey powder and whey protein concentrate. This increases the level of milk proteins (modified milk ingredients) needed to produce a high quality, smooth-textured ice cream.
Liquid sucrose is blended in for sweetness and to increase the amount of solids in the mix. Liquid glucose is added to help soften the finished ice cream and add a slight ‘chewiness’ to the texture. If we’re making a chocolate mix, we add cocoa powder at this point. Stabilizers and emulsifiers are then added to help break up the milk fat in the cream and spread it evenly throughout the mix.
All the ingredients are carefully blended together to create a smooth texture. The mix is then pasteurized to kill any bacteria that may be in the cream or other raw materials. The pasteurized mix is also homogenized to help break up the milk fat into many small bubbles, ensuring a consistent base for our ice cream.
This process ensures the smooth, finished ice cream that Chapman’s is famous for!
Step 2: We mature our mix
At this point, the ice cream mix is held in an aging tank at 4°C (40°F) to mature and to let the dry ingredients hydrate. We also check that the mix contains the correct amount of fat and dissolved solids, and verify that it contains no harmful bacteria.
During the holding time, the fat in the mix becomes less stable and networks develop between the small fat droplets. These physical changes allow for the best possible result when the mix is whipped and frozen.
Step 3: We add flavour
With the mix quality checked, our wonderful flavours (vanilla extract, mint, fruit preparations, etc.) are added depending on what’s required for the finished ice cream. If colours (such as beet-root extract or turmeric extract) are needed, they are also added at this point. Once thoroughly blended, this flavoured mix is ready to be pumped to the production line!
Step 4: We freeze it
The flavoured mix goes into a continuous freezer, where it is churned and whipped to incorporate air during the freezing process. The amount of air pumped in depends on the specific ice cream recipe. This process gives the mix the texture of “soft serve” ice cream. (Fun fact: If a mix is frozen without any air being incorporated, the result is a solid icy block.)
Step 5: We add more good stuff
Chapman’s is known for our generous inclusions. That means we add lots of good stuff like nuts, candy pieces, cookie dough, fruit filled chocolate cups – and the list goes on. To do this, we pass the ice cream through a fruit feeder that adds the pieces and blends them in. The possible combinations are just about endless!
Ripples or ribbons of caramel, butterscotch or chocolate are the last thing added, using a device called a ripple spinner.
Step 6: We package with care
Once the ice cream, pieces, and ripples have been combined, it’s time to fill the containers. This is done quickly, in only 2 to 3 minutes, so the ice cream has no chance to start melting.
Step 7: Into the deep freeze
Our packaged soft ice cream moves through a spiral blast-freezing tunnel for about 2½ hours. This allows the ice cream to freeze completely. The general rule with ice cream is that the quicker the freeze, the better the ice cream!
The finished package is bundled, placed on huge skids, and moved into our storage freezer, where it’s ready for shipment to the store and eventually your freezer.
Step 8: We test for quality
Quality testing isn’t really the final step. In fact, we sample, taste, and test our products throughout the entire production process to ensure the recipe was followed correctly. Each batch is also tested for the presence of any harmful bacteria. Until the samples are proven to be safe, we will not release the ice cream for sale.
Step 9: We guarantee your satisfaction
Chapman’s ice cream is shipped from our production facilities to your local grocery store. We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy – if our products don’t meet your expectations, we’ll replace it – no questions asked!
Still have questions about our production process? Contact us with your ice cream inquiries!