Theres nothing vanilla about vanilla ice cream – its delicious – but apparently theres no actual vanilla in it either.
Although the creamy goodness is loved by many and is a classic ice cream fave, a new investigation has found that we might not be eating the real thing.
The scoop is that over half of supermarket ice creams dont contain the traditional ingredients of vanilla, cream and fresh milk.
So what have we been eating all this time?
The investigation by Which? reveals that just half of the branded vanilla ice creams sold at 24 supermarkets have all three ingredients.
Those which didnt contain vanilla – a flavouring extracted from an orchid plant – were usually own brand products.
Among them were Soft Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream from Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, and Ms Mollys, exclusively sold at Tesco, as well as the branded Walls Soft Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream.
Dont worry though, theyre not adding any old thing to their scoops.
Several products just substituted cream and milk with partially reconstituted dried skimmed milk or whey protein, while the taste of vanilla was often replaced with a general flavouring.
Some of the non-dairy ingredients included palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and water.
Can you still call it ice cream if it doesnt have the key components that we expect in it?
Why yes, you can.
Although back in the day (up until 2015), anything labelled ice cream had to contain at least 5% dairy fat and 2.5% milk protein, things have changed.
The Food Information Regulations paper changed all that to accommodate vegans and those looking for low fat options.
Now, ice cream has to contain 5% dairy fat, some protein from a dairy source and no vegetable fats.
The next signs are if its in a plastic tub, is labelled soft scoop or if it melts quite quickly. Most commercial ice creams have been whipped to incorporate air; it makes it easier to serve and has a soft mouthfeel, but means youre paying for far less actual product.
— Chris Ince (@Chris_Ince) August 26, 2018
Naturally, people are freaking out about the news on social media, rethinking all those 99p Flakes theyve consumed during the heatwave.
Its a good thing were getting the news now that summer is basically over.