Antifreeze in Your Ice Cream

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist October 19, 2010

One thing I try to do on this blog is alert folks to the sneaky, underhanded and frequently toxic chemicals that Big Food processors add to their products.

One of these dirty little secrets is the fact that propylene glycol, a cosmetic form of antifreeze, is added to commercial ice cream.

You see, when you make ice cream at home, you immediately notice that it is as hard as a rock very unlike store ice creams (even the organic ones) that seem to scoop out of the container so conveniently.

Homemade ice cream has to be taken out of the freezer and softened on the counter for a few minutes before you have any hope of scooping some out into a bowl.    I even store mine in a shallow, Pyrex baking dish as this makes it much easier and faster to scoop out when I want some.

Antifreeze, then, is simply ice cream manufacturers’ answer to hard as a rock ice cream and the ice crystals that inevitably form as it is shipped long distances and moved between many different freezers before it finally makes it to your supermarket.

If you’ve ever left homemade ice cream on the counter too long and then put it back in the freezer, you notice how icy it can get.   Antifreeze added to store ice cream helps prevent this from happening!

Sometimes when I tell folks this for the first time, they have trouble believing it.  Why?   Because propylene glycol isn’t listed anywhere on the ice cream label or ingredients list.

While it may come as a shock to some of you, there is such a thing as an “Industry Standard“, which means that if everyone does it, you don’t have to label it!   For those who need specifics, USDA reg 21 CFR 101.100 deals with labeling exemptions dealing with incidental food additives.

Nice, huh?   Where I grew up, this was called deceit.

Can you believe it?  Just because commercial ice cream manufacturers make a practice of adding a little bit of antifreeze to their ice cream, then it doesn’t have to be labeled!   I don’t even trust organic ice cream as it is way too easy to scoop out of the container right out of the freezer for my comfort level.   My efforts to confirm this one way or the other were not successful, so at this time, it is only a very strong hunch.

Just to get you a little more hot under the collar, the FDA actually had the gall to grant GRAS status to antifreeze!    What is GRAS?   It is an acronym for “Generally Recognized As Safe”.

Well, isn’t that interesting?   Antifreeze safe to eat!   You learn something new every day!

Wait a minute!   Antifreeze safe to eat, yet a dog would probably die if a car radiator leaks in his owner’s driveway and he laps some of it up?

Ok, ok, I know that antifreeze used in radiators is ethylene glycol, but the fact is that propylene glycol is a related chemical that is known to cause heart, kidney, liver, and central nervous system damage if sufficient quantity is absorbed by the body.

Given that Americans eat approximately 5 times the ice cream they did only 50 years ago, it is anyone’s guess what the long term effects of the small amounts of propylene glycol in store ice cream might be (source: WAPF).

So, ethylene glycol will kill you quickly and propylene glycol will kill you slowly and perhaps painfully.  That seems to be the gist of it to me.

I used to wonder why whenever I ate store ice cream or got an ice cream cone at the Mall, the next day I seemed to have a very close relationship to the bathroom.   Turns out that a side effect of consuming antifreeze is loose bowels, even diarrhea.    Propylene glycol is even used to clean out the bowel before surgery and is a primary ingredient in some over the counter constipation meds!

By the way, there are MANY other chemicals added to commercial ice cream that are toxic and unlabeled.   Piperonal, for example, is used in place of vanilla and is a chemical used to kill head lice, so you’re not even safe getting a basic flavor like plain vanilla ice cream!

What if the ingredients label lists vanilla?    Does this mean there is no piperonal in there?   Not necessarily.  A mixture of piperonal and vanilla could be used with the vanilla listed (to make the customer happy) and the piperonal not listed (to fool the customer and increase profits).   Not surprisingly, piperonal is cheaper to use than vanilla.

Food manufacturers are really good at the cat and mouse games and are complete virtuosos at playing the USDA regulations.

So, if you aren’t into eating antifreeze with your ice cream, check out my videoblog on how to make your own, safe, delicious, healthy ice cream!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

*This post is shared at Real Food Wednesday!

Picture Credit

 

Comments (153)

  1. Pingback: Real Ice Cream » Once Upon a Time in a Bed of Wildflowers

  2. Pingback: Propylene Glycol Dangers: The Industrial Solvent in Your Food and Beer

  3. Seems like a scare post to me. There’s a lot of cited resources in the post…except the ones that state that propylene glycol is completely non-toxic. This argument that there are “chemicals” in food is TRUE…but water is a chemical. You are composed of chemicals. Everything we interact with can be broken down to chemical components…stop using this word as a scare tactic for uninformed consumers.
    Kevin\’s last post: Drink, Or Don’t: Just Don’t Be a Dick About It

    Reply
  4. Pingback: It’s time to redefine treats

  5. Another prime example of misrepresented data, and you all fell for it.

    Propylene Glycol is non toxic! It’s in tons of things, and people even use it in their water supplies on RV trips to keep it from freezing. Its also used in asthma inhalers to vaporize the medicine. Just because something is used as antifreeze, doesn’t mean its bad for you! We’re not talking about the stuff we put in cars, if that were the case, we’d all be dead. We’re talking about something safe, non-toxic, and in tons of everyday consumable items. The reason they don’t mention it on the ingredient list is because it’s NOT HARMFUL

    Do some research, people…

    Reply
    • I could very easily say that you and Kevin have drunk the KoolAid of Industry and “Science”. I seem to remember those same groups of money hungry SOB’s saying Agent Orange was harmless too! “The reason they don’t mention it on the ingredient list is because it’s NOT HARMFUL -” So I guess, milk, eggs, cream, and sugar are listed because they are harmful? From the Environmental Working Group: About PROPYLENE GLYCOL: Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin conditioning agent. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria in humans; these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%. The thing of it is this: How many things can you put into your body, that your body wasn’t designed to deal with? Think about this: A woman gets up to go to work, or wherever. She jumps in the shower where she washes her hair with chemical laden shampoo and conditioner. Then she uses a different combo of chemicals in her soap.She dries herself off with a chemical laden towel which picked those up from the laundry detergent and softener. Most likely she used dryer sheets as well. Then she proceeds to lather her body in more chemicals body lotion, makeup, moisturizer, hair styling products, and those quick spray chemicals called perfume! She may also be using chemical laden feminine products and a quick spray to the shoes to stop foot odor. And best of all–deodorant! How many different phony fragrances did she just apply to the biggest organ of her body–the skin? So, I guess you would say, PG-it’s just one more!

      Reply
  6. Propylene glycol is non-toxic! DIETHYLENE glycol is the toxic stuff in antifreeze. Proplyene glycol is only added to antifreeze make it FAR less toxic if ingested. Fact: propylene glycol is used in HOSPITALS to santize the air! It’s also in a number of products that most people use on a daily basis. So according to you, they’re pumping poison into the air in hospitals. Riiight…

    From the FDA: “Propylene glycol can be ingested over long periods of time and in substantial quantities (up to 5 percent of the total food intake) without causing frank toxic effects.”

    Jesus, do some research before writing this garbage.

    Reply
    • Ah yes! The FDA.That bastion of honesty. Have you looked to see how many who sit on the board of the FDA has worked for chemical companies in the past? Or, really, still do? While your at it, find out how many in the USDA, FDA, and EPA have worked for the big Ag companies. What a joke!

      Reply
  7. I can’t believe someone is spreading a rumor that ice which is easy to scoop right out of the freezer contains propylene glycol. I also can’t believe there are so many gullible people who believe her. Imake ice cream at home from milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and whole foods for flavoring and my ice cream is easily scoopable right out of a freezer at 0F. Why is this? Well, because I make it properly. Please get your facts straight.

    Reply
  8. Also, I know this isn’t really the exact point of the article…but peripheral concerns might be important as well.

    In Europe, people eat more junk than people eat in the States. Looking for healthy food is generally considered an American trait. And I’ve lived in a LOT of different countries.

    That’s not to say that everyone is like that, but it’s very prevalent.

    I just don’t want people idealizing this continent that is not in any way ideal. Where they often make laws just to make things ridiculous.

    And their food laws are right up there.

    Reply
  9. Actually no. Sorry. The tuna didn’t taste like garbage…it tasted like a combination of garbage and how our medicine cabinet used to smell when I was a kid…with the mouthwash and stuff for cuts and band-aids, and shaving cream, etc. The strangest thing I’d ever encountered.

    Of course, not one of those cans of tuna EVER got eaten. They all went in the garbage. Sounds stupid, but in certain parts of Europe, you just don’t return stuff to the store…they’ll just tell you to get #$%^, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Like in the NL, if you over pay for something by a few cents, you don’t get all of your change back. Only if your change due is 5 cents or more do you get it back. The first time I encountered that, I argued for 20 minutes…very nicely. They just told me to go back to America. And people in line don’t even back you up. They think it’s a good idea. Because it makes it so you have less change in your pockets. Meanwhile they could have also just made it so that ALL Euros (the currency) were paper. But anything up to two Euros is a coin…and one and 2 euro pieces are very heavy (like silver pieces used to be…2 to 3 times the weight of quarters). And eventually you get loaded down with those.

    Anyway, do NOT EVER think that Europe has an answer for ANYTHING that has to do with people and convenience or respect…especially when it comes to food.

    Most of the EU countries are on the road to complete computerization of every SINGLE thing a farmer does. Like in France….they have to record every fertilizer they use and how much…and if it’s not enough, there are reprisals.

    The EU even makes it illegal for farmers to grow tomatoes other than EU sanctioned ones. Even if the farmer is only going to eat the tomatoes themselves!

    Feudalism is still alive and the royal Wizard is the food corps and chemists, et al.

    Reply
  10. Please don’t think that this is only a US problem, or that it’s any BETTER in the rest of the world. The EU has laws that are no doubt worse as far as disclosure of ingredients. My speculation is based only on experiences during my life in Europe for 7 years…up until this year. The first time I ate peanut butter in the Netherlands, I read the label and it said “ingredients: peanuts”…PERIOD. I have made my own peanut butter HUNDREDS of times and I know what peanuts taste like. The peanut butter that I ate in the NL tasted like what my mother’s PB cookie dough used to taste like after the sugar, brown sugar and shortening had been added. Fine, maybe all of that wasn’t in that PB. But it was definitely NOT just peanuts. Also, in the EU they must have very similar regulations as the US. You guy an orange juice, which was apparently from concentrate and it is overly acidic, too sweet and also has a texture as if some sort of thickener were added to it. In most cases, I actually think that the laws in the EU are worse. I’ve had tuna that tasted like garbage. And just to be sure, tried bits from three other cans, purchased on separate occasions. Still the same garbagey taste. And twice the price of tuna in the States.

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Lithuanian Rye Bread » Make It Like a Man!Make It Like a Man!

  12. Pingback: FDA Finally Cracks Down! - Maltese Dogs Forum : Spoiled Maltese Forums

  13. Holy cow! That’s disgusting and absolutely terrible. I had no idea. Mind you, I’ve not been able to eat ice cream for years. I found your post because I bought some So Delicious coconut milk ice cream. I served it yesterday, we got to chatting and noticed it never melted. It stayed in one, glob. That was the first and last time I’ll be buying that product. I was trying to search Google to find out why that would happen. I’ll have to check out your ice cream recipes. I don’t have an ice cream maker any more, but I’m sure I can figure something out. Thanks for sharing, Lisa

    Reply
    • This article is wrong and the author is misinformed. Diethylene glycol is the toxic ingredient in antifreeze, propylene glycol is added to it to make it less harmful if ingested. Don’t let her scare you. It’s in multiple products that you use every day. I’m sure she thought that using some sensationalized headline would get views on her page, but if she believe what she wrote she has no business being any type of journalist. It’s idiotic. So please don’t go telling everyone you know that this crap is true.

      From the FDA website: “Propylene glycol can be ingested over long periods of time and in substantial quantities (up to 5 percent of the total food intake) without causing frank toxic effects.”

      Reply
  14. Pingback: Forbidden News » There Is Antifreeze In Your Ice Cream

  15. Pingback: There Is Antifreeze In Your Ice Cream : Federal Jack

  16. Sarah, you are amazing and thank-you for pointing this out. Sorry this may stink up your article about delicious ice cream, but I came across your site while researching Propylene glycol that was a main ingredient in the supposedly all natural deodorants {Tom’s and another purchased from so-called Whole Foods} that I had been using. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought that they add this to foods. Thank you again for sharing your knowledge, because with food that is not eaten everyday the symptoms may not be noticed but the damage is cumulative. This IS one of the most toxic poisonous ingredient among others that these immoral crooks are adding to everything that we are dependent upon and things that we enjoy (no wonder depression is so common}. It causes liver damage as stated on the first website I came across, ironically a government website. I had been having an unusually bad odor from my sweat, much worse than the typical bad odor from eating meats and other food. Finally, after halting the use of the 2 deodorants with main ingredient of PG, my sweat odor is gone and I don’t need to use any deodorant; although it took a while to completely subside. I suspected the deodorant from the start, but Initially I thought it was sweat mixed with fragrance, since it wasn’t an antiperspirant, so I bought another brand with a different scent, but same results. Also, it didn’t make sense because the odor wasn’t limited to just my underarms. This PG shit was permeating my entire body. I want to warn all who are intelligent enough to know that anything to do with profits = deception. We can all be fooled, even the most stringent skeptics but we won’t be fooled for long, if we keep sharing our experiences and research.

    Reply
  17. Wow…i cant believe this. This probably dates back to when the first ice cream parlor opened in New York, 1776. They must have used the anti-freeze from the horse carriages. There would be NO WAY for our forefathers to enjoy the classic American treat without anti-freeze.

    You obviously don’t know how to make ice cream…
    I’ve been making homemade batches ice cream, gelato, sherbet, sorbet, for 10+ years.

    It’s really not hard to make smooth, creamy, scoop-able ice cream. It’s all about making a stabilized mixture/custard.

    3 main ingredients:
    -milk
    -Cream (a fat. Ever put olive oil in the freezer?? Try it, you can’t freeze oils)
    -sugar (ever dissolve lots of sugar in water? Or cream?)

    Properly mixing these 3 ingredients into a harmonious stable balance, will create a viscous liquid, that when churned properly, will create microscopic ice crystals, resulting in a creamy, soft ice cream/Gelato.

    THINK about it. Try freezing cream, with lots of frozen sugar. You’ll be able to scoop it, without churning. These thick sugary cream molecules don’t freeze Into a block of ice. Because its not water, and its not ice. They each have a very unique freezing process and act COMPLETELY different.

    Not to mention there are many other natural “stabilizers” to ensure your ice cream comes out smoother than store bought. Xantham gum, guar gum ( can find these at your local health foods store). Also depending how much air is added into your ice cream will determine its final texture. Or using a recipe with egg yolks (which allows for the proteins from the yolk to Create a natural stabilizer in the ice cream.

    Reply
  18. Propylene glycol is antifreeze. Antifreeze is a chemical that lowers the freezing point of a water-based liquid. Examples of chemicals used as antifreeze in engines are methanol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and glycerol. AMSOIL makes an engine antifreeze anyone can buy from propylene glycol that it promotes as being biodegradable and as having low toxicitiy for pets, children, & wildlife.

    Reply
  19. Propylene glycol is an approved additive to dog food (a little PG doesn’t kill dogs). I’m allergic to propylene glycol, as tested by an allergist, and have to be careful about reading labels on products and foods. There are many chemicals that are related to proplene glycol and allergists give people that have PG allergy a long list of chemicals to look for on labels.

    As far as ice cream is concerned, do we really need to eat ice cream at all? It’s not beneficial for humans to eat cow’s cream or sugar. If you try to make it healthier, it really isn’t ice cream and it probably isn’t really healthy. I live in hot, hot, hot Arizona and when I start craving something ice cream like I blend up some frozen blueberries, cherries, or pineapple with a little 100% juice to make a sorbet like treat.

    Reply
  20. Pingback: there’s WHAT?!? in my ice cream? | Clean With Fun

  21. The reason store bought ice cream isn’t hard is because they inject air into it. Unlike all the un-sourced claims here, this is obvious when you let it melt (which releases the tiny air bubbles) and refreeze it, it because as hard as a rock.

    Because ice cream is sold by volume (pint/quart) the more air they add, the less product in the container. Some are so brazen what you can physically feel the weight differences.

    I have no doubt about about companies and food additives shenanigans, but this article is complete non-sense. Propylene glycol is not the same as ethylene glycol as suggested, one is a very toxic to humans, the other is not. It’s like stating methyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is the same as ethyl alcohol (grain alcohol) are the same, when in fact one is very toxic to humans and the other is considered a social lubricant and consumed by for centuries.

    IOW, if ice cream contained ethylene glycol, which is the inference, regular consumers of ice cream would die. It’s a coveted poison because it’s undetectable, orderless, tasteless, and very small quantities are lethal.

    Not that is matters, because there is not one lick of proof that it’s actually a chemical found in ice cream, just the authors belief it is without disclosing as to how that conclusion was reached. No lab report, no expert opinions, nothing but the authors belief, which when you consider the rest of the ‘conclusions’ is highly suspect.

    Reply
  22. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you

    Reply
  23. Pingback: Ice cream is healthy, it really is. Popcorn isn’t a bad snack either. | Raw Food Health Watch

  24. Ok, you’ll love this:

    This was the first link that appeared when I tried doing a Google search for my dad. He was reading the ingredients on our ice cream because he didn’t feel good after eating it. He names one ingredient and says “Isn’t this radiator fluid?” I can’t believe that not only was he about right, but that to top it off companies aren’t even required to list it in the ingredients!

    Reply
  25. toulouse aerospace industry February 28, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Superb blog you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any
    discussion boards that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks a lot!
    toulouse aerospace industry\’s last post: toulouse aerospace industry

    Reply
  26. the best electronic cigarette February 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification appeared to be
    at the net the simplest thing to remember of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while folks
    consider issues that they plainly don’t understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as outlined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more. Thanks
    the best electronic cigarette\’s last post: the best electronic cigarette

    Reply
  27. Pingback: Homemade Raw Milk Ice Cream « Crunchy Sissies

  28. I just read an article on Yahoo written by a Men’s Health writer. It said that a product you need to watch out for is called Castoreum. Its Beaver anal gland juice! You can find it in
    vanilla or raspberry flavoring in processed foods, labeled only as “natural flavoring.”
    I am so sickened by what industry does to our food. I don’t want my food made in a laboratory and definitely don’t want it coming out of a beaver anal gland.

    Reply
  29. trurls.nowhiteguilt.com January 28, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Irrespective of whether you are feeding on out or in your very own residence, it should be equally conducive to body weight reduction.
    Your medical doctor will be capable to notify you which goods to stay clear of and which goods would quite
    possibly really be successful for you.
    trurls.nowhiteguilt.com\’s last post: trurls.nowhiteguilt.com

    Reply
  30. Nice that you mentioned propylene glycol and ethylene glycol in your article but failed to mention 2 very important things. What is in foods (almost all foods, including laxitives, candy bars, nutritional bars, etc…..) is POLYpropylene glycol, What is in your car is DIEethylene glycol.

    Reply
  31. This ingredient is also added to vitamins. Yes, even to PRE-NATAL VITAMINS. It has to be labeled by law but you have to be aware that it could be there and to look for it.

    Reply
  32. I received this response today when inquiring about the use of propylene glycol in the mentioned organic brand (below)…

    “I wanted to let you know that Alden’s Ice Cream does not use propylene glycol in any way, shape or form. In fact, the use of propylene glycol is not permitted in any certified organic products, so you definitely won’t find it in Alden’s. Hope this information helps, and please feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have. Thank you again for trying Alden’s and contacting us! We’re so grateful for our conscientious and informed customers! Hope you have a wonderful day!”

    Reply
  33. Perhaps the ice cream isn’t soft because your feezer isn’t cold enough? (Just a thought).
    Or, because the store bought containers dont allow the product to freeze the same way your home made stuff would (in pyrex or tupperware)?

    Reply
  34. I find it interesting that all of you who are concerned with what you’re putting in your bodies are eating so much ice cream. Usually if you have your own ice cream maker, that means you eat quite a bit. I’d be more concerned with the number of calories you’re consuming instead of the harmless, yes harmless, chemicals you’re putting in your body.

    But let’s talk about the article. Propylene glycol is not antifreeze. To make such a claim is worse than what the author is accusing the FDA and the big name companies of doing. The main attraction to using propylene glycol (PG) in any product is that it creates a bond between everything in the product keeping them from separating. (Similar to why you need eggs to bake a cake) Who wants to shake their hand cream or any make up products prior to use? I can’t imagine antifreeze, of which PG is only a part, working very well if the ingredients kept separating the way water and oil do. Do you know what small ‘mom and pop’ type places use to make milkshakes that aren’t clumpy? Raw eggs. I’d be more concerned about salmonella than any side effects of PG.

    If you do even the most simplest forms of research, ie. looking up antifreeze on wikipedia, you’ll find that ETHYLENE glycol is the main ingredient of antifreeze, not propylene glycol. When is PG used? When consumers want to buy a NON-TOXIC antifreeze. That’s right, PG is used in the non-toxic form of antifreeze, safe to leave around pets and small children.

    I find it comical that so many people are throwing away products that contain a chemical that’s used in, and definitely not equal to, antifreeze. Non-toxic antifreeze at that. If you ask me, which I know you didn’t but I’ll give you an answer anyway, the author of this article, and those like her, is doing more harm to this world, by creating fear in all of her readers, than any questionable member of the FDA ever could.

    So TO THE AUTHOR: since you have the power to convince the majority of your readers to throw out many of their products, eat an unhealthy amount of ice cream and believe every lie and unfounded ‘fact’ you spew at them, please pick a topic that wont create more fear in a world where 1 in 5 people have mental health issues, a stat that is continuing to climb. You, and people like you, are partly responsible for a lot of depression and paranoia out there. PLEASE stop.

    Reply
  35. Propylene glycol is NOT anti-freeze. It is a chemical compound that is found in anti-freeze, yes, but so is another one… H2O. Will you stop drinking water because you believe that one piece of the whole is the same substance as the whole? No.

    One study states: “The results of these experiments in conjunction with the absence of any observed ill effects in patients exposed to both triethylene glycol and propylene glycol vapors for months at a time, provide assurance that air containing these vapors in amounts up to the saturation point is completely harmless.”

    According to the Health Canada website, “…there are no endpoints of concern for oral, dermal or inhalation exposure to propylene glycol based on the low toxicity observed in studies near or above testing limit doses. Based on this, the USEPA did not conduct any quantitative human health risk assessments and concluded that exposure does not present a human health risk of concern.”

    Stop spreading misinformation and making people more afraid to be alive and eat the foods they enjoy. Although I am 100% behind the idea of being aware of what you’re putting into your body, the FDA and other agencies exist for a reason, and they are not trying to poison the human population as you may think.

    Reply
  36. Mike, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    I did a lot of research on PG before I started smoking ecigs. As I understand it, some people do have allergic reactions to it, so maybe some of the people leaving comments have experienced that. But that doesn’t make it poison – are peanuts poison? Are eggs? Are shellfish?

    Reply
  37. Really? Anything that lowers the freezing temperature of water is antifreeze. Propylene and ethylene glycol, for sure, but also things like ethanol, salt, glucose, and even vitamin C. If you can dissolve it in water, the resulting solution will have a lower freezing temperature than water.

    You say that it can kill you when sufficient quantities are absorbed by the body. Same goes for all the above substances, including water. Too much of ANYTHING will kill you.

    Do you know how much commercially prepared ice cream you would have to eat in order to get propylene glycol poisoning? Neither do I, but as has been pointed out above, you’d have to inject pure propylene glycol directly into your bloodstream to get toxic plasma levels, so you’d die of a ruptured stomach, or even malnutrition, long before you’d consumed enough through your ice cream.

    I hope you’re not asthmatic, because if you use an inhaler, you’re inhaling propylene glycol every time you use it. Yep. Propylene glycol is the carrier in asthma inhalers.

    This “article” is ignorant fearmongering at its finest.

    Reply
  38. Piperonal is a naturally occurring component of the oils from many plants. Chemically, it’s very similar to vanillin and tends to get used in things that have a vanilla like aroma – quite a few perfumes have it in them. It’s not particularly bad for you in the minute amounts it’s used in. Not as bad as all that sugar anyway. It’s used in delicer because they don’t particularly like the smell, but it smells nice to humans. Numerous strong smelling oils will drive insects away as it disrupts their pheromone based method of sense / communication, e.g. menthol -> clothing harassing moths.

    Reply
  39. Pingback: Homemade Ice Cream That’s Not Hard As A Rock — Holistic Kid

  40. Very healthy realist February 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    You know, typtophan is VERY similar to DMT (think ayahuasca). Does this mean Im going to trip out whenever I eat meat, seeds, nuts, eggs or bananas?? Not a chance! And I refuse to put propylene glycol in my radiator. Ill use vegetable glycerin, very similar! Although, when it comes to keeping away neighborhood cats and other undesirables…

    Reply
  41. Some people here are using coconut milk instead of dairy to make ice cream. The two brands that I have found here contain carrageenan. There is a lot of negative things said about putting that into your body.

    Reply
  42. This allegation is an absolute crock. Propylene Glycol (PG) is not anti-freeze; however, I can see why one might think it is (presumably). If you research PG, you will find that low-grade, industrial-quality PG is used as an agent in anti-freeze (it is NOT anti-freeze in and of itself). However, in foods, food-grade (or pharmaceutical-grade) PG is used, as well as in hand creams and other products that are absorbed in someway or another into humans. No matter what the grade, however, it is not directly harmful to humans (see the NFPA 704 rating, which states that it is as harmful to humans as water is). The only negative effect found in studies was liver damage in rats, which had PG administered to them (daily) in their diet over the period of 2 years(!) in concentrations humans would never be able to consume through ingesting food products with PG as an additive.

    Reply
  43. Johnny Relentless October 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Um, actually, a quick web search will reveal that it takes pretty much an intravenous overdose to harm anyone – as a food additive, you can’t eat enough to cause harm.

    I assume by ‘related’ the author means similar. So to put this alarmist article into perspective, the deadly carbon monoxide is only 1 atom away from being pure oxygen. One atom can make all the difference.

    Reply
  44. Pingback: Raw Cacao Ice Cream « The Well Nourished Home

  45. Hi, I used to love making ice cream but I found using my Donvier ice cream maker such a pain because of trying to get the seal on it. I’ve thought about buyiing the attachment to my KitchenAid or even the Cuisinart maker. Any suggestions? What brands do others use/suggest?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  46. After reading this article, I paid more attention to the ingredient labels and found some soft butter in my frig and read the label on it. On the label was listed propylene glycol, antifreeze. The government is trying to kill us. I will not be buying any more ice-cream or soft butter!

    Reply
  47. I believe you will find that if you melt a cup of ice cream you will have less than a cup when it is ‘done’ melting. One of the reasons for that is the large amount of air whipped into some brands of ice cream so they are easier to scoop. They are, in effect, ‘whipped’ ice cream. That, more than any non-labeled antifreeze, likely explains the difference in your homemade stuff vs. the store-bought.

    Reply
  48. Really!? Propylene glycol is used in so many products…this doesn’t even touch the extent of its use. Even many injectible medications use it as a solvent. It’s in shampoo, toothpaste, moisturizers, and many, many food products on the market. But to scare the public into thinking this products is like antifreeze!? Propylene glycol is metabolized into propylene glycol is metabolized in the human body into pyruvic acid (a normal part of the glucose-metabolism process, readily converted to energy), acetic acid (handled by ethanol-metabolism), lactic acid (a normal acid generally abundant during digestion),[9] and propionaldehyde.[10][11] Serious toxicity generally occurs only at plasma concentrations over 1 g/L, which requires extremely high intake over a relatively short period of time.[12].

    Take a basic life chemistry course before you post something so ridiculous!

    9.^ Hamilton, D. J. “Gastric Dyspepsia.” The Lancet. Volume 2 1890: p306.
    10.^ Miller DN, Bazzano G (1965) Propanediol metabolism and its relation to lactic acid metabolism. Ann NY Acad Aci, 119: 957-973.
    11.^ Ruddick JA (1972) Toxicology, metabolism, and biochemistry of 1,2-propanediol. Toxicol App Pharmacol, 21: 102-111.
    12.^ Flanagan RJ;Braithwaite RA;Brown SS;Widdop B;de Wolff FA;. The International Programme on Chemical Safety: Basic Analytical Toxicology. WHO, 1995.

    Reply
    • I did some research too…comparing the toxicity of ethylene glycol to propylene glycol is a silly comparison. The difference between ethylene glycol and propylene glycol is one carbon in the chain. Incidentally, that’s the same difference between methanol and ethanol. We all know methanol is deadly in small amounts, while we all ingest ethanol regularly. But, to be more scientific:

      LDLo – lowest known lethal dose
      LD50 – dose known to cause mortality in 50% of the population

      Methanol: human (adult) oral LDLo: 428 mg/kg
      Ethanol: oral child LDLo: 2000 mg/kg
      Ethylene glycol: oral human (adult) LDLo: 786 mg/kg
      oral rat LD50: 4700 mg/kg
      Propylene glycol: oral rat LD50: 20000 mg/kg (!)(no human info listed)

      All info taken from the MSDS (Material safety data sheets) here: http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/

      Reply
      • James Mantooth July 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm

        The only disturbing part of any of this is that all those rats died so that folks like Sarah could be assured, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of a chemical’s safety, and they don’t even respect the sacrifice. (Of course, this comment is rather irrelevant, since this chemical, as has been pointed out, is not actually to be found in most ice creams).

        Reply
  49. Pingback: Random Links I Found to be Interesting | Tenderherb's Blog

  50. Pingback: Homemade Ice Cream « Kitchen Mamacita

  51. Pingback: Foods & Ingredients to AVOID | Zane & Blake

  52. Pingback: Good Reads

  53. Pingback: Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream | Divine Health

  54. I emailed Alden’s Ice Cream since it is our favorite and this is the response that I got:
    Dear Heather,
    Thank you for writing in to us here at Alden’s Organic Ice Cream concerning the ingredients we used in our products.
    We do not use propylene glycol in our Alden’s Ice Creams. Propylene glycol is prohibited for use in all organic products. If you have any other questions, please let me know.
    Sincerely,
    Evan Bondioli
    Quality Assurance

    Reply
  55. Sooooo what about gelato then? I buy one that is made locally and I usually have to leave it out 15-20min minimum…the label suggest 30 min so that it is at the appropriate soft texture…however, it seems pretty easy for them to scoop out at Whole Foods, if I have it hand packed from them. I hear that gelato is better (or maybe less damaging would be more appropriate) because of a different ratio of ingredients…can you shed some light on that for me?
    I too love Ben and Jerry’s but too much ice cream or fluid milk seems to make me a little unsettled as well…I thought maybe it was actually the milkfat, but now I’m thinking about trying some organic whole milk…DH (from Vermont and a former dairy worker) is ecstatic ;)

    Reply
  56. Davidas, it very likely could be. I know that chocolate here in Canada tastes different than in the U.S., and I know others who share the same view. The taste of some other things, like milk, changes between provinces. For all we know, it could be different between states as well.

    And here propylene glycol is listed I’ve notice! It makes me want to make my own ice cream again…sea salt ice cream especially…

    Reply
  57. Could this be a regional thing? Breyer’s is still labelled as ice cream here, not dessert. Nothing on the nutrition label has changed. It forms ice crystals, and, along with Haagen Daz (sp?) and Ben & Jerry’s (the only ones we ever buy), have to sit on the counter to soften before we can scoop them usually. Haagen Daz does not use hormone-free milk & cream, but Ben & Jerry’s does…. I’m not sure about Breyer’s. The ice cream I made at home last year wasn’t all that much harder than the store-bought stuff. ?

    Reply
  58. Pingback: Tweets that mention Antifreeze in Your Ice Cream — The Healthy Home Economist -- Topsy.com

  59. I consider myself a natural foods advocate and I oppose Propylene Glycol’s GRAS status because of it’s metabolic byproducts. After reading this article I was motivated to compile a list of ingredients exempted from labeling requirements on the basis of this article’s statement of “Industry Standard” exemptions; and then researching safety studies behind each such exempted ingredient. However after reviewing Title 21 CFR 101.100* I could not find the section that implies such an exemption the article describes. Therefore, I must respectfully request that the said attorney give clarification on the information sourced in this article.

    In its completed form Title 21 CFR 101.100 subsection (a) paragraph (3) states “Incidental additives that are present in a food at insignificant levels and do not have any technical or functional effect in that food.” By definition Propylene Glycol as antifreeze in ice-cream does “have a technical and functional effect”. I cannot reconcile the article’s statements of “industry standard” exemptions and sourced Title 21 CFR 101.100. I respectfully request that the attorney help me understand, because as it is, I find my faith in food activism already shaken.

    Reply
  60. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 24, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Julie, I was not referring to ice cream sandwiches and other processed food products that contain commercial ice cream – only plain ice cream itself sold as is. Several of the brands I checked were definitely labeled as "lowfat" yet there was no propylene glycol listed despite a very squeezable, soft carton!

    Reply
  61. Take a look at the ingredient lists online. Here are just a few:

    http://www.starspangledicecream.com/New/info-ConserativeIceCream.htm

    http://www.dreyers.com/brand/grandlight/flavor.asp?b=112&f=1670

    http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&productId=704016

    http://www.breyers.com/products/Smooth-and-Dreamy-Bars-and-Sandwiches/Vanilla-Fudge-Brownie-Sandwiches.aspx

    Propylene ice cream seems to be in ice creams with a low fat content. It must have some property that makes up for what the fat does in real ice cream.

    P.S.I use higher end brands when I do catering jobs(which I do for a living). Haagen Daz, Straus, etc. They are never soft out of the freezer. It is always a bummer to have to scoop 30 scoops to garnish a dessert at a dinner party when we forget to take out the ice cream during the entree.

    Reply
  62. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 22, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Just out of curiosity, I checked all the plain vanilla ice creams labels today at the supermarket. I haven't bought ice cream at the store other than Haagen Daaz on occasion for many years so wanted to see if propylene glycol was listed. Not one brand listed propylene glycol – even the cheapest of the cheap vanilla ice creams. It is definitely in there though .. I could squeeze the cartons the ice cream in there was so soft. The "industry standard" loophole allows devious and shocking things to be added to food!

    Reply
    • I dont understand what you guys are all saying about icecream not being hard, well the ones I buy and put in my freezer are ALWAYS hard, that you cant scoop it out. ….

      Reply
      • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

        Margaret, have you ever made ice cream at home? Now that stuff is hard as a rock. I have to put mine in a flat, glass casserole dish as it is completely impossible to scoop out if you put it in a tub even after 10-15 minutes on the counter. This is what I am comparing it too.

        Reply
    • There you go again claiming that just because you could squeeze the carton that “it is definitely in there”. Come on! Let’s get honest here.

      I have four freezers at home. Some of them are colder than others. In some of them our store-bought ice cream is rock hard, and in others it is scoopable. Scoopability has a lot to do with temperature and how much air is whipped into the product.

      Stop the scare mongering!

      BTW, when you go for a colonoscopy you have to drink a huge amount of propylene glycol and it will sure clean you out, but it won’t kill you.

      Reply
      • David Zelman, PharmD September 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm

        Laxatives and colonoscopy preps are not made of propylene glycol. They are made of polyethylene glycol (PEG). Very different. PEG is essentially plastic. It is inert as a food. Your body cannot digest it, break it down, or absorb it.

        Reply
  63. P.S. I think the FDA is not only devious; they are often just plain ignorant, as are many people.I believe that they think that it is just fine to eat propylene glycol among other things. I am not sure they are trying to hide it.

    Reply
  64. In general, I think we are all really on the same side.I am under nor misconceptions about the FDA or USDA and I considered myself pretty informed about the latest "food issues". BTW, I eat and feed my family a strict WAP diet with all of our meat, chicken and eggs pastured and from local farmers and local raw milk. All of our produce is organic with most of it from the farmer's market. But I do feed my boys organic ice cream from the store and I am confident that it does not contain propylene glycol because it is not on the label.

    Reply
  65. Julie, I did not say I "know" all commercial ice creams contain propolene glycol. I don't.

    I did say the change in softness did not occur until the introduction of propylene glycol as an ingredient in ice cream. I suspect it may be there, because I know of no other ingredient that keeps ice cream soft in that manner.

    If an ice cream has the qualities of ice cream to which propylene glycol is added, is it unreasonable to suspect its presence?

    Do you have another explanation why it does not stay hard?
    I would be happy to consider it, and I would be willing to reconsider my reasoning.

    Julie, the proof you seek may be very hard to find. The industry knows what they put in, and we do not. If some of them are trying to conceal something, that makes it very hard to find. Even lab tests showing the presence of propylene glycol could be explained away or challenged, or dismissed as "trace amounts", that were not intended to be there.

    Julie, if we trust our own observations and experience, use our ability to reason and common sense, we are much more likely to find the truth then if we simply let the "experts" decide for us. Experts often disagree, often know far less than they claim, and simply do not deserve the blind faith we are taught to put in them. And many of them can be bought.

    There is an old saying, if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, well, it probably is a duck.

    I know what ice cream used to be like, and I know what it is like now. I know that ice cream was hard until propylene glycol was introduced to the industry. Am I absolutely sure that all commercial ice cream contains propylene glycol? Mo.

    Do I want to eat something that behaves as if it does contain propylene glycol? No.

    I also want to add that a number of public interest groups have accused the food industry of hiding preservatives and all kinds of additives under the label of "spices", or "natural flavors", or "artificial flavors".

    The government makes lots of mistakes, especially when it comes to the safety of food and drugs. Hundreds of drugs approved by the government have collectively killed millions of people over the years, and many have been withdrawn.

    I do respect your right to disagree.

    Reply
  66. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Julie, where there is smoke there is fire, my friend – particularly where the FDA and the USDA are concerned! As I mentioned in the blog, some folks refuse to believe this "industry standard" cloak and dagger approach to food labeling, it is ok if you can't seem to believe it. It IS hard to imagine other human beings so devious and flippant with other people's health. But it is true. I am glad you don't eat the stuff at least.

    Reply
  67. Sarah,

    I actually had a much more in depth conversation with the person at the FDA and just gave you a brief summary. Believe me. I don't like or trust them in any way. I think you AND Stanley should research the issue much more thoroughly. You are making huge assumptions and accusations about ice cream without any verifiable fact.You can not just assume propylene glycol is in most ice cream without being on the label. Stanley is saying he knows ice creams contain propylene glycol by his layperson observations. He is not presenting any proof. I really appreciate much of the info you disseminate through your blog but I think you may have it wrong on this one. If it really is true that they are adding propylene glycol without labeling, I'd like to see some proof.

    Reply
  68. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 21, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Julie, I appreciate the straightforward nature of your inquiry, but if you actually believe that you can ask a straightforward question and get a simple "yes" or "no" from the FDA, you are very mistaken. Remember, this is the same agency which denies that there is 1 RAD of radiation in a single mammogram and which touts the safety of vaccinations. As I've said before, the regs are VERY complicated .. your question was also directed at the wrong agency as well. The USDA has jurisdication here once a food has been granted GRAS by the FDA. Not that I think for one minute that getting a customer service rep (who knows absolutely nothing) on the phone at the USDA would be helpful at all. Only a food attorney is useful in these situations. One of the commentors in this thread is Stanley Fishman, Esq. He is an attorney whose comments should prove more helpful than a phone call to the FDA.

    Reply
  69. Sara, I think you have just explained why fat has been demonized by the establishment and the media.
    Take away fat and people will gorge on sweeteners and refined carbs, and never be satisfied.

    Which means that they will eat and eat and eat and still be hungry.

    As always, its all about profit.

    Thank you for this most insightful comment.

    Reply
  70. I just spoke to someone at the FDA.Here is what I was told. All ingredients in an item must be on the label including propylene glycol. The exception to this rule is that small amounts of certain things can go under the three headings of artificial flavors, natural flavors and spices. Propylene glycol can not go under any those headings.The FDA's number is 1-888-463-6332. Let's fight big food but let's have our facts correct.

    Reply
  71. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Stanley, very perceptive! Your comment got me thinking of another important point to keep in mind. A couple of the comments above have mentioned that some brands of commercial ice cream are now called "dairy dessert" instead of ice cream as they have lowered the butterfat content so much it can no longer even qualify as ice cream. This is deliberate because when the butterfat content decreases, the customer EATS MUCH MUCH MORE and the ice cream becomes more addictive as sugar replaces the butterfat! It is the goal in life of these ice cream manufacturers (and Big Food in general) to get folks addicted to their products much like cigarette companies added so many toxic additives to their smokes for years to get folks addicted. You can get addicted to sugar but you can't get addicted to butterfat as butterfat does not encourage the growth of pathogens in the gut but sugar MOST DEFINITELY DOES! Making your own ice cream at home is critical to avoiding the ice cream addiction that so many people suffer from.

    Reply
  72. I remember how quality ice cream was in the 1980s. It was much harder, so much so that you had to let it warm up before you could scoop it our of the container. They used just as much sugar as they do now.

    Mow just about every commercial ice cream is soft right out of the freezer. Why did it change?
    Propolene Glycol.

    It is important to remember that our wonderful congress seriously weakened organic standards a few years ago. The label "Organic" now means that only 95% of the ingredients have to be organic. The food industry got that change made so they could use artificial chemical additives and still label their concoctions organic.

    If a product says "100% organic", then it is totally organic and does not have these additives.

    Just try and find even one commercial ice cream that is labeled 100% organic.

    Reply
  73. Carla's comment reminded me of this. I recall once that a friend in Arizona suggested I get a shake from a local fast food place that I had never gone to. I asked why and he said, "Don't eat it. Just drive around with it or take it home and notice – it doesn't melt." I tried it. It was true. The next day it looked pretty much the same and of course I threw it out. Thanks for writing about these things.
    Goodlife.

    Reply
  74. I know that certain things that are GRAS can be hidden under "umbrellas" of spices, natural flavoring, etc. I am just not sure and I am curious about propylene glycol in ice cream and I'd like to know for sure. I will try to find out tomorrow. I suspect it is mostly being used in lesser quality brands to make up for deficiencies in the product. It is on many, many ice cream labels. It seems to be mostly in brands with less fat.

    Reply
  75. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 21, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Julie, GRAS status means much more than that. MSG for example also has GRAS status and it is also unlabeled in many cases. For example, if a "spices" ingredient on the label has less than 50% msg, then the msg can be hidden is the "spices" label and not listed individually. There are all kinds of tricks in the USDA that can be played if an additive has GRAS status. You need a food attorney to decipher all the exceptions and loopholes. The fact is, you have NO IDEA what is in there. So, for me, if an ice cream is suspiciously soft, I am going to assume the worst. Knowing all the tricks these food manufacturers play, suspecting the worst is the safe way to go.

    Reply
  76. GRAS status means that an item can be used without prior approval by the FDA.I don't think it means that an item can automatically be left off the ingredient list on the label.

    Reply
  77. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 21, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Julie, because propylene glycol has "GRAS" status (see post above for this explanation), this is how it can be included with no labeling because it is an "industry standard" additive. Because of all the loopholes in labeling these days, it is best for your health to assume the worst especially if a product like organic ice cream does not have the same characteristics of homemade!

    Reply
  78. Sarah, re: the sugar. Ask a pastry chef. I am professional chef but not a pastry chef and that has been what I have been told about sugar content in ice cream by a local pastry chef that runs an ice cream business. But there are other factors involved as well that affect scoopability. I don't think you can assume that just because an ice cream is not hard it contains propylene glycol. The thing I am questioning here is whether propylene glycol can be added without listing it on the label. That may or may not be true but I would like to know it as a verifiable fact. But regardless, I don't think the organic companies are using it nor do I think many of the others are. Why would some companies list it as ingredient if they didn't have to do? It sure doesn't sound appealing to anyone.

    Reply
  79. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Julie, that's an interesting take on sugar making the ice cream softer. I don't see how that is possible though as Haagen Daaz has more sugar than Julie's Organics per serving, but is hard as a rock and Julie's ice cream is very soft and scoopable. Considering how ridiculously watered down the USDA Organic label has become, I'm not sure an organic ice cream is much protection from many of the toxic additives found in regular supermarket brands.

    Reply
  80. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Kris, no I did not remove your post .. it just ended up on the spam folder for some reason. I have no idea why. I just found it and got it posted. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    Reply
  81. I am sure that propylene glycol is in many ice creams. It is actually on the label of many cheapo brands. I do not think it is in the organic brands and some of the others and I am suspicious of the fact they they can use it and not put it on the label. Additionally, I live in the San Francisco area. We have many artisan ice cream shops that use organic, seasonal ingredients and make their ice cream in commercial machines. This ice cream is not hard straight from my freezer like homemade and there is no way they are using propylene glycol.You just can not get the same consistency in a home machine as you can in a commercial one. But there are other factors affecting whether ice cream freezes hard or soft. Sugar content is one of them.

    http://www.ici-icecream.com/menu.html

    http://biritecreamery.com/

    Reply
  82. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Hi Anonymous, I'm sure there are organic brands that are good out there, but be careful as the ones I've checked out are way too soft for my comfort level. Something is being added – maybe even propylene glycol just like the cheap commercial brands.

    Reply
  83. Thanks for the update. This explains why the certified organic ice cream we buy is so hard and we have to leave it on the counter to soften. I've changed all of my skincare/cosmetic products to certified organic to avoid it already but it's good to know about IC.

    Reply
  84. For the fraction of people who care about issues like this (for we know there are those who don't), let's please take the time to contact the manufacturers and request only real, whole food ingredients, without all the pseudo ersatz junk masquerading as food. Take the time, contact them! Consumer demand is a strong motivator for positive change.
    -Beth

    Reply
  85. I tried to post a comment last night. I hope it wasn't the one that was removed. I did want to know where your information came from, but I also complemented your blog and said that I was sure it was true; just wanted back up information. I had clicked on one of the links in the article, but must have gotten one where the information had changed because it said that propylene glycol was not used in ice cream. This morning, I checked out more of the links and I see that you do have back up sources. I just hope that it wasn't my post that you saw as propaganda, because I am in no way representing anyone other than my family.

    Reply
  86. Ok, so propylene glycol IS also considered to be antifreeze, so I stand corrected.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifreeze

    I will concede that "GRAS" is not an indicator of health-promoting foods. Since I don't eat foods that contain it, it's a non-issue for me, but you are right – I don't care for the intentional clouding of the issue by any of the companies that use it as an ingredient.

    Reply
  87. I just checked every source cited in the article. The ehow article cited twice by Sarah CONFIRMS THAT PROPYLENE GLYCOL IS USED IN ICE CREAM.

    Just read the second paragraph.

    If you search for "ice cream propylene glycol" on google or yahoo, you will find THOUSANDS of entries confirming the use of propylene glycol in ice cream.

    As for "Julies" claim that air keeps ice cream from freezing, no it does not. Air is added to ice cream to increase volume and profits. Air is full of moisture, which freezes.

    You know that commercial ice cream has propylene glycol in it if the ice cream has the properties of propylene glycol, meaning that it is soft even when frozen. Every commercial ice cream I have ever used has this property, with exactly one exception.

    Reply
  88. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Bamboo, I have no doubt ice milk would contain propylene glycol also as it would have a tendency to form ice crystals during shipping even more than ice cream due to its higher water content. Yes, you can make ice milk at home with an ice cream maker, so this would be your best bet. Make sure you get a good quality milk – if you can't get fresh from the farm (which is best), then get low temp pasteurized, non homogenized brands like Natural by Nature.

    Reply
  89. What about ice milk? I remember having that many times throughout life but haven't seen it in stores here. I was wondering if that might be something I could make at home since I don't have the $ for cream for ice cream (any cream I get is selfishly used in small amounts on other things, unless I overindulge!)

    My lymph glands swell immediately after eating even small amounts of ice cream. I thought it was the sugar but it may be something else as well. Usually we just use it as a chaser (1 teaspoon, maybe) for dc to take oil of oregano when they're sick; or as a special treat.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  90. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Gharkenss, oh, and by the way, "verifiable science" these days is fudged and manipulated more times than not. Trying to get this info out to the public is a Sherlock Holmes endeavor in many cases.

    Reply
  91. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for finding this .. I clicked on the link, and the information there has been CHANGED since yesterday when I first posted this blog. Amazing how the Big Food dogs are all over it when the truth leaks out and do whatever it takes to squash the information. No worries. There is another link later in the article that states the same thing. Don't think they can make a phone call to get that one changed.

    Reply
  92. The link you posted – twice – states very clearly that Propylene Glycol is NOT an ingredient in ice cream. Did anyone read that?

    Secondly, propylene glycol is antifreeze just like sodium chloride is chlorine. In other words: it's not.

    There's enough fear-mongering going on at all levels. Why can't we just stick with verifiable science?

    BTW, I don't eat commercial ice cream and I don't work for or even like the big food companies. But even less, I don't like innuendo and foggy "science."

    Reply
  93. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 20, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Lindsay – please read the post before jumping in with a judgement. My "HUNCH" was for organic products ONLY. There is most certainly antifreeze used in regular supermarket ice creams! Sources are cited, so please click on them! As for anonymous, I am assuming you are a Big Food troll who is paid to go around anonymously on blogs like mine to deny, deny, deny to further confuse the consumer. Anonymous propaganda is not welcome here.

    Reply
  94. Thank you, Sarah, for this eye-opening information!

    If ice cream were the only thing we had to worry about, that would be bad enough, but wait, there's more! No, we don't actually "eat" these other things, but perhaps we put them in our mouths, around our eyes, use them for skin care, makeup (how about your mascara?!), personal hygiene, feminine hygiene, and the list goes on – think transdermal. I know I'm a little off subject here, but I hope you'll forgive me, Sarah, it was just too closely related for me to let it go.

    For more information, see Environmental Working Group's sister site, Skin Deep:

    And don't miss their list of 5,626 products that they have tested that contain P.G. The hazard ratings are from 1-10 on their hazard ratings, but the hazard ratings are for the use of just one product, and does not take into account the use/consumption of multiple products. In my mind, if multiple products would mean a heavier hazard load.

    I'll be looking forward to your ice cream recipe too.

    Reply
  95. Thank you Julie. I was waiting for someone to chime in with something rational.

    Just because you have a hunch based on information, does not make it so. My partner coaches me on this all the time. Speculation IS speculation and not fact. Cite your sources or move on.

    Reply
  96. Where are you getting the information that propylene glycol is in all ice cream? Please give your sources. (I don't think it is true.)Commercial ice cream is not as hard right out of the freezer because commercial ice cream machines whip a lot of air into the product.

    P.S.FYI- Breyer's is now called a frozen dessert and not ice cream because they have lowered the butterfat content (to cut costs)and can not legally call it ice cream anymore.

    Reply
    • I agree Julie, I buy the Real Dairy, brand at times 50% les fat, and it is frozen when I take it out of the freezer, have to wait a couple of minutes to soften. maybe people dont have their freezer turned up high enough….. even some other brands are real hard….

      Reply
      • I’m never surprised at how many Bandwagon jumpers there are or how quick people form opinions based on hearsay or unfounded/undisclosed sources. Glad to see I’m not the only one who finds this, TO SAY THE LEAST, questionable. I was in the ice cream biz for years and I do know ALL ingredients must be listed, PERIOD. There are a number of ways to stretch ice cream as well as effect the rate of melt, thickness, and consistency like aeration, temperature, xanthum gum, the rate of freeze in production and type of milk product used. Glycol is used across the industry to freeze ice cream, but IS NOT added to ice cream. It is considered anti-freeze, but it’s use never touches the actual product. It flows around the stainless steel molds and batch containers to speed up the freezing to meet demand. Glycol and other “antifreezes” like salt brine are used around molds to accelerate freezing, typically to about 15 mins or less. I would think, that if the FDA allows glycol in ice cream, it’s in the same way they allow rat feces in chicken, fish, and hamburger meat. Although none of us want ANYTHING in our food, but FOOD, They(USDA/FDA) know that when you make food by the metric ton there’s bound to be a tiny bit of impurities in them. Therefore they’ve determined that in every 1/2 ton, or whatver, of each poduct, there are exceptable/harmless levels of impurities. In closing, a little information is dangerous in the wrong hands.

        Reply
        • I have seen brownies sold at the store that contained propylene glycol, it was listed in the ingredients. So it certainly is something that is used as a food ingredient or additive, and I think there is a good chance it is in ice cream as well.

          Reply
  97. Oh wow … so disgusting. I haven't had ice cream in years, as I was GFCF prior to doing SCD/GAPS. Now I make my own ice cream with coconut milk, but I feel an awful lot better about not being able to have "normal" ice cream thanks to you!

    Reply
  98. I make my own ice cream, but sometimes my daughter really wants the "store bought" kind, so I sometimes buy her the Vanilla ice cream from Julie's Organic. After reading your post, I sent them an e-mail asking about propylene glycol. They wrote me back saying that they do not use it and that they don't have ANY hidden ingredients… But the ice cream does have a very creamy consistency and never freezes, so I just don't know. Anyway, anti freeze or not, I really still prefer the stuff I make at home, with grass fed raw cream, pastured eggs and mapple syrup. The consistency will never be the same as the store bought, though.

    Reply
  99. The problem with Haagen-Daas is that it is owned by Nestle, which I and others have decided to boycott because of their unethical business practices in the marketing of infant formula.

    Not sure what to do about ice cream- honestly I love it and simply don't have time to make everything that we eat, so I may have to just eat less and try to get the best possible, even with the antifreeze.

    Reply
  100. Here is another in the abundant examples of where the "Food Industry" feels compelled to put poison in our food. Most people who make ice cream know that you should put a couple of tablespoons of alcohol in it to improve the scoopability. This is mentioned in the wonderful "America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook" (in my edition: page 624). Instead of course Big Food opts to put propylene glycol rather than alcohol…..maybe to save a fraction of a cent. More reason to join the food revolution and either make you own food and/or buy from trusted local sources. The food industry can go to Hades!

    Reply
  101. Wow! Even though I don't have ice cream that often, I definitely won't be buying it at the store anymore. Where are the Food Police that tell us not to eat meat and butter?!!!! It is just so wrong for the consuming public to be treated this way by both the producers and the government!!!!
    Thank you Sarah for this information. I will be checking back often for that ice cream recipe.
    Gloria

    Reply
  102. can't wait for the recipes…the 1st, and only, time I've made ice cream at home it didn't turn out too good. I've been buying the Haagen Dazs 5 ingredient flavors thinking it was a good compromise…sad to learn this because they were DELICIOUS!

    Reply
  103. Gina, that is what we do!! I whip my cream before adding it to the machine and it never gets rock hard..Its really awesome!

    Reply
  104. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 19, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Paul – you are so right. Dessert CAN be delicious and healthy and still a wonderfully sweet treat. No need to ever feel guilty for indulging on occasion! It's the garbage we've been sold a bill of goods on in the supermarkets that have given all sweets, even wholesome desserts a bad rap.

    Reply
  105. So glad that we've stopped eating commercial ice cream! We just started making our own and it is super tasty.

    One trick which someone had posted as a comment on another forum for making ice cream easier to scoop is to partially whip your cream in another bowl and then add to your other ingredients which are already mixed. I tried this on our last batch and it worked great. My hubby definitely noticed the difference!

    Reply
  106. Pavil The Uber Noob October 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I make my own 'Ice Cream' with a can of Coconut Milk (the one Sarah recommends). I save the real Jersey cream for the panacotta :)
    It is indeed a good life – having dessert that is real food.

    Reply
  107. I had a recipe for ice cream that called for a small amount of vodka to keep the ice cream from getting too hard. Not enough to do any harm, I have never tried it, but for those who don't mind a little alchohol in their dessert, it might not be bad. Maybe a little rum to go with the coconut?

    Reply
  108. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Good point, Magda. Haagen Daaz is potentially the only one I would say might not have propylene glycol in it because it is so hard right out of the freezer BUT it doesn't get icy either like homemade ice cream so maybe it just has less antifreeze in it than other brands. I do still have trouble when I eat it – much less than other brands – but my homemade ice cream gives me no trouble at all.

    Reply
  109. Nice to see this point mentioned again – I love my Cuisinart ice cream maker, even more so now that I'm mostly dairy free and can make my own coconut milk-based ice creams at home. I have often wondered why, let's say, Haagen-Dazs ice cream is so hard out of the freezer but other ice creams are soft… I buy very little commercial ice cream and I try to stick to pure, simple ice creams.. I hate soft-serve anyway. I may just start making all our ice cream anyway – DH and DS love my coconut milk ice cream!!!
    Love your blog,
    Magda

    Reply
  110. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Tara, many folks erroneously believe they are lactose intolerant or have "milk allergy" only to find out that they are really just victims of Industrial Food Sickness .. when they get fresh from the farm milk, cream, milk, butter they are FINE.

    Reply
  111. Ugh..I threw out a container of iced coffee mix when I saw polypropylene glycol on the ingredients list. My husband is a plumber and he's told me about glycol in air conditioning units. I know enough to realize I do NOY want to be ingesting it!

    I was also shocked to see Breyers is no longer labelled as ice cream but 'frozen dessert'. More reason to buy an ice cream maker!! My husband cannot tolerate store bought ice cream or DQ ice cream….we thought he was lactose intolerant!

    Reply
  112. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama October 19, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Propylene glycol is an insidious chemical, also found in many personal care products, all food colorings, and vaccines (go read the labels!!). It was actually the primary reason I stopped using food coloring — never mind the actual dyes. That stuff is liquid poison.

    Speaking of food coloring, and the "pretty" ice cream picture you have, I don't trust anything with such bright, unnatural colors. I only trust bright, FRESH colors. Ugh. Poison.

    Reply
  113. Sarah,thanks again for spreading the truth. It is so important for people to know what is is industrial food. Now you have explained how anyone can tell if there is antifreeze in the ice cream they buy.

    It is a crime that the government allows any number of deadly chemical poisons to be put in out food, while ruthlessly persecuting people who make wonderful cheese and milk.

    I have not touched any industrial ice cream for over five years. Can't wait for your recipe!

    Reply
  114. Ewww! DH eats a ton of ice cream and always has (I'm not big on ice cream and the kids have it a couple times a week). I noticed the other day Breyers here (I'm in Canada) is no longer called Ice Cream but Frozen Dessert (I couldn't find any of the "natural" kinds, but they are filled with chemicals too). I looked at the ingredients and couldn't believe half of what I saw. Jeepers! You would think it would cost more to have so many ingredients but instead it gets cheaper, so poor people like us get duped into buying it, thinking we are getting a good product. One of the kids had a small bowl and forgot it in their bedroom. Five hours later, it looked the same as when I scooped it out, it wasn't even melted and mostly held its shape. Ewwww!!! I think after our current supply is gone, we definitely won't be buying more! Homemade is the way to go.

    Reply
  115. Wow, this is news to me, but not surprising anymore. So glad I have been making all of our ice cream. I am sharing this on facebook today for sure!

    Reply
  116. Barb @ My Daily Round October 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Wow! This was a real eye-opener. I didn't realize that if everyone in the industry used something, they didn't have to list it on the ingredient list. Sounds like we'll be making our own ice cream, too! Fortunately, I do have access to a source of raw milk cream for a great price. I know what I'm ordering today!

    Reply
  117. Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist October 19, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Hi Lisa, I don't know for sure about the organic ice cream, but the brands I've tried are way too soft getting scooped out of the carton straight out of the freezer for my comfort level. I am very suspicious that there is propylene glycol in those brands too. Homemade ice cream just is so much harder in comparison.

    Reply
  118. Lisa @ Real Food Digest October 19, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Thanks for posting this.
    I never knew about this. Can "organic certified" ice cream include this as well? This is so disturbing. I make most of my ice cream, but once in a while I do treat the kids to strauss or haagen daaz. Gives a whole new meaning to "ice cream headache."

    Reply
    • this article is also *misleading*- because the reason propolene glycol is added to automotive antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is to make it far less toxic than it would be otherwise, in the event that a vehicle anti-freeze gets accidentally ingested by animals or children- most adults would (hopefully) be smart enough to not drink vehicle anti-freeze.

      No there isnt vehicle anti-freeze in your icecream. It has the ability to be used *as an anti-freeze* (much in the same way as grain alcohols) because of its hydroscopic properties and because of it’s resistance to freezing crystalization in very cold temperatures. Typically known as Anti-freeze protiens (or AFPs) as they are found in nature in various fishes and plants, into ice cream and yogurt products to keep them from becoming rock-hard in your freezer. . This ingredient, labelled ice-structuring protein, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The proteins are isolated from fish and replicated, on a larger scale, in yeast.

      Propylene Glycol: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=240

      Reply
      • And what’s even better, is most people WOULD PROBABLY BE DEAD if it wasn’t for certain grades of propylene glycol. (there are four, I believe: Industrial,

        Propylene Glycol was developed in the 1940′s, and approved for use by the FDA in the early 50′s if my memory serves me.

        Hospitals have been using PG to disinfect their A/C systems, to prevent patients from contracting airborne illnesses.

        From propylene-glycol.com: That that most of you scare-weenies would even care to listen to science…

        Propylene Glycol is “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS) by the US FDA (21CFR § 184.1666).In the body, under conditions of normal low exposure, propylene glycol is quickly metabolised and excreted. Its metabolic pathway is comparable to that of sugar: propylene glycol is rapidly converted into lactic acid, just like what happens with the sugar (energy) in the muscles when being exercised during sports. The lactic acid is then excreted via the urine.

        This whole article screams of scare tactics that should be considered dangerous. Author, you should be very ashamed of yourself.

        Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Login to your account

Can't remember your Password ?

Register for this site!