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Pasteuriser and pasteurisation
The first step of making gelato is pasteurisation, which involves transforming the raw materials and semi-finished products into a mixture, and above all using temperature to guarantee the necessary hygiene and health standards without altering the product's properties.
Pasteurisers are programmed to perform two different types of pasteurisation: low pasteurisation, which involves bringing the mixture to a temperature of 65° and keeping it there for 30 minutes, and high pasteurisation, which brings the mixture to 85° and keeping it there for 2-3 minutes.
In both cases, the mixture is then cooled to 4°C.
This heat treatment has very little impact on the mixture's organoleptic properties and allows the ingredients to amalgamate well, improving the quality of the product.
After pasteurisation, the mixture must be matured; this is essential in order to allow the solids in general and the protein in particular (from the milk and eggs) to become fully hydrated.
The pasteurised mixture can be used up to 72 hours after the cycle. After this period, the bacteria content would increase to the point that even an additional pasteurisation would not be able to make it usable.
Alongside the pasteurisation phase, the homogenisation phase is also performed when the mixture is at a temperature of between 60 and
During this phase, the fats in the gelato are broken up and amalgamated.
The entire cycle takes a maximum of a couple of hours. The main aim of homogenisation when preparing traditional gelato is to create a uniform and stable suspension by reducing the size of the fat particles, which then form a smooth, creamy "layer".
The effects of homogenisation are important and have enormous advantages for traditional gelato-makers; let's take a look in more detail:
- exalting flavours: in fact, the organoleptic features of gelato are enhanced by the increased surface area that comes into contact with the taste buds;
- texture and body: the creamy surface that forms during the process perfectly integrates the various components of the mixture (fats, syrups, sugar solutions, emulsifiers, etc.), creating a much more stable, thicker gelato with a finer texture, thanks to the formation of smaller crystals.
Whipping and whipping machines
Whipping machines are a cylinder inside which the mixture is transformed into gelato as it changes state (from liquid to a creamy solid), as a result of three factors:
cold, stirring and the air.
Without the combined action of these three factors, gelato would be impossible to obtain.
The whipping machine removes heat from a certain part of the mixture, while stirring it well so that it draws in air and transforms into gelato. All this takes place in a short enough time to allow for several different flavours to be produced, to be placed in the display cabinets and/or storage.
This is used to stabilise the temperature of just-whipped gelato in a couple of minutes, very rapidly crystallizing the water (25-30%) to ensure very small crystals, which are finer and last longer in the gelato produced.
The displays do the important job of "keeping" a product which has finished changing state, but which can still undergo modifications due to the free water and sucrose in the recipe.
For gelato-makers, gelato should be easy to spread and divide, with an inviting texture, solid structure, without any sign of separation, loss of volume or formation of ice crystals.
Soft gelato machines
A Soft is essentially a type of whipping machine and storage unit in one, storing two different substances: the mixture and the gelato.
The gelato is stored at the right temperature and consistency in the whipping cylinder itself, allowing for a certain number of servings or cones according to the volume of the cylinder.