Gelatin-free ice cream brands
March 22, 2007 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Gelatin-free ice cream brands?

I'm buying a large quantity of ice cream for a union party that will include a lot of people who, for ethical or religious reasons, don't eat products with gelatin. I'm being helped by a woman with lots of experience planning such parties, who tells me that most ice creams contain gelatin. Quelle surprise! The only gelatin-free option she knew of is a local ice creamery, The Chocolate Shoppe, which makes very good, but very expensive, product. Anyone know of any national (or Wisconsin-specific) brands that don't contain the devil's stabilizer?
posted by UKnowForKids to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would guess that kosher or halal items would not contain gelatin. As an example, Breyer's website allows you to search for kosher items. Checking a couple of of the ingredient lists on the items, it doesn't look like they have gelatin (or suspect enzyme products, etc.) in them. Some have vegetable/soy additives instead.

That's a start, at least. You'll probably have to look further for good price points and what is available in quantity.
posted by gimonca at 2:15 PM on March 22, 2007

Ummmm most ice cream, in my experience, does not contain gelatin. I eat most ice cream, I don't eat hooflins, I mean gelatin. I'm checking out Breyers and Dreyers (can you get this under the Edy's brand?) online., Neither seem to contain gelatin. Those are the two big brands in my supermarket, I don't know if they are in yours or if you're looking for something in larger than gallon sizes.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:20 PM on March 22, 2007

I'm being helped by a woman with lots of experience planning such parties, who tells me that most ice creams contain gelatin.

She is incorrect. Gelatin is a pretty rare stabilizer, compared to things like lecithin and mono- and diglycerides. And there are plenty of mass-market cheap ice creams without any stabilizers anyway.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:22 PM on March 22, 2007

Still looking online: Baskin Robbins gelatin free, Blue Bunny gelatin free.

Marshamallows do contain it, though. No rocky road.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:28 PM on March 22, 2007

I would guess that kosher or halal items would not contain gelatin.

Kosher foods may contain kosher gelatin, which is usually made from fish. Yogurt often contains kosher gelatin, which means I read the labels on yogurt. I read the labels on ice cream, too, and I've never seen ice cream containing gelatin unless it also contains marshmallows.
posted by Violet Hour at 2:32 PM on March 22, 2007

Haagen-Dazs is gelatin-free. Many ice-creams contain thickeners, but it's usually in the form of carageenan (sp?), which is made from seaweed.
posted by rtha at 2:34 PM on March 22, 2007

Violet Hour, based on what you said, I got my hopes up about eating yogurt (I am ok with fish gelatin) .Yoplait and Dannon both use kosher beef gelatin. I just got off the the phone with Yoplait. How confusing that mixing beef with milk isn't kosher, but the gelatin itself is.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:54 PM on March 22, 2007

Ben and Jerry's is also okay.

for ethical or religious reasons

Here's an interesting factoid I've heard (which I can't back up with any facts, of course): Tofuti, which is a totally vegan ice cream alternative, is not dairy free because it is made by a bunch of tree-hugging animal lovers. Apparently, its main target market is conservative (and possibly Orthodox) Jews who want to eat ice cream after a nice meal of brisket. As a result, the corporation apparently isn't at al liberally minded and in fact has supported conservative causes in the past.

Full disclosure: I'm a total lefty, and think Tofutti tastes awesome.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:06 PM on March 22, 2007

Ambrosia Voyeur: so do they actually put any Kosher symbols on the Yoplait/Dannon packages? Because by the standards of the authorities that regulate those symbols, wouldn't the meat/milk mix yogurt be non-kosher? So you'd have to call up the company to find out that it's kosher by more relaxed standards (for people who don't want to eat pork hooves but are OK with meat and milk together?)
posted by rxrfrx at 3:17 PM on March 22, 2007

I just checked the store-brand ice cream in my freezer and it contains no gelatin... Its stabilizers/emulsifiers/thickeners are carrageenan (which is made from seaweed, as rtha mentioned above) and guar gum (which is a plant from the legume family)... I've never heard of an ice cream with gelatin, so I'm guessing most inexpensive brands don't contain it.
posted by amyms at 3:17 PM on March 22, 2007

Yoplait and Dannon both use kosher beef gelatin.

Wow, you learn something new every day. I always assumed that mixing gelatin with dairy was not kosher, but apparently gelatin is not considered fleishig (meat):
In contrast to the issue of mixing fish-gelatin with meat mentioned above, it is well accepted that gelatin produced from kosher slaughtered animals is not fleishig and may be eaten with milk-based yogurt. Although it is beyond the scope of this article to explain why meat gelatin is pareve, it is noteworthy that a major factor in that status is because the gelatin is made from animal hides which, as noted above, are inedible.
This is a non-issue for me, as I generally shun all yogurts containing anything more than milk and cultures (and the occasional honey and/or sugar).
posted by Deathalicious at 3:20 PM on March 22, 2007

(The link for the quote above)
posted by Deathalicious at 3:21 PM on March 22, 2007

rxrfrx: I don't know about the labeling on the packaging, I haven't bought any non-hippie type yogurt in a long while over the assumption of gelatin I don't eat being in it. However, on the information from Violet Hour, that the gelatin is Kosher Gelatin, and might therefore be fish-derived, I looked at Dannon's online FAQ and called Yoplait. Their gelatin, unlike hoof or bone gelatin I take it, comes from beef hides and is therefore approved as Kosher. I can't imagine anyone who keeps kosher being lax enough to allow it in their diet in a dairy product.

On preview: thanks Deathalicious. My imagination is no match to conservative Jewish law.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:31 PM on March 22, 2007

Oh, by the way UKnowForKids (O) --- this friend of yours, does one her relatives work at The Choclate Shoppe by any chance? This sounds kind of like garden variety fear marketing.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:38 PM on March 22, 2007

Sorry Ambrosia Voyeur! The link did say kosher gelatin could be made from fish or beef, but I thought it was more often made from fish based on what a Jewish friend told me. I don't eat beef or fish, so to me it didn't matter so much which was used.

Last I checked, Dannon yogurts only contain gelatin if they are fruit flavored. Coffee, vanilla, and plain don't have any. Publix store-brand yogurt doesn't have gelatin. Neither do Stonyfield Farms, Fage, Brown Cow, or Woodstock Water Buffalo.
posted by Violet Hour at 3:47 PM on March 22, 2007

VH, no problem! Now we know!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:23 PM on March 22, 2007

I'm vegetarian and I check for gelatin. I haven't seen an ice cream yet that has gelatin in it; yogurts (especially fat-free versions) are more likely to, but I have never had trouble finding a brand at the store that doesn't contain it (and I'm cheap so I never buy the expensive stuff; usually I can find an inexpensive/store brand).
posted by Melinika at 4:42 PM on March 22, 2007

I used to eat Cascade Fresh, and it was made with pectin. No gelatin of any kind. They don't sell it at my main grocery any more, so I don't know if that's still the case.
posted by peep at 7:31 PM on March 22, 2007

At the risk of going all Pepsi Blue on people...I had a Cascade Fresh yogurt just today and have three more in the fridge right now. They sell it at Byerly's in the Twin Cities. It's the only fat-free, fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt I can get, and I'll get it in preference to any other.

Yes, the thickeners are still pectin and tapioca.

posted by gimonca at 7:46 PM on March 22, 2007

By the way, this is why the US so desperately needs the "Suitable for Vegetarians" tag as found on products in the UK. That seal is frikken' awesome.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:42 AM on March 23, 2007

You can buy vegan ice creams like Soy Delicious, Soy Cream, Rice Dream, etc, etc, etc in the non-dairy ice cream section in Whole Foods. They do not contain gelatin.
posted by beerbajay at 1:38 AM on March 23, 2007

Really? US foods don't tell you when they're veggie? That's terrible. I feel inclined to lobby on your behalf, as I don't know what I'd do without that big green V.

And as a side-effect of this thread, I have discovered that ben & jerrys marshmallows are made with pectin, hurrah! I miss marshmallows.
posted by thoughtless at 2:03 AM on March 23, 2007

Pssh. Not only do US foods not tell you if they're veggie, the word "vegetarian" has no meaning here, apparently. One famous example is Knorr's "Vegetarian" Vegetable buillion cubes. They contain gelatin. I was so pissed off about this that I emailed the FDA to ask about it, and they said there is no regulation or requirement about what can be called vegetarian on packaging. I think I've commented about this before - other people mentioned canned beans as another big culprit with this.
posted by peep at 9:31 AM on March 23, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, for your responses - I'm inclined to think that she was mistaken, especially since I found many ice cream brands using guar gum and carageenan as stabilizers. She is convinced that gelatin lurks in the "natural flavors" item, but I doubt it... I think I'll just go with the large, tasty-looking tubs of seaweed-stabilized ice cream that I found.
posted by UKnowForKids at 11:02 AM on March 23, 2007

gimonca - Ever eat Stonyfield Farm fat free yogurt?
posted by cmgonzalez at 1:57 PM on March 23, 2007

Do they have a fruit-on-the-bottom version? They might, but I don't think they carry it where I shop. I usually see the regular blended ones.
posted by gimonca at 8:24 PM on March 28, 2007

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