Reverse Engineering Tutorial

With the new balance tool it is possible to reverse engineer an ice cream if we have the ingredient list and nutrition facts information. Ok, this will probably only work for simple flavors without any add-ins or swirls. I will show a very simple example using the Häagen-Daz Vanilla ice cream. I use this in the tutorial because it is one of the commercial ice creams with the fewest ingredients, making this easy to follow.

Häagen-Dazs Vanilla

The ingredient list of the Häagen-Dazs vanilla.
Cream, Skim Milk, Cane Sugar, Egg Yolks, Vanilla Extract

The EU nutrition label is always per/100g but the US label is per serving size. The calculator needs the values per/100g so a conversion is needed. This will be explained below.
The nutrition label US

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 128 g (5 oz)

Servings per container 3

Amount per serving
Calories 300

Calories from Fat 180

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 31%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 24g
Protein 5g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Adding the ingredients

Ok, first we start the calculator and add the ingredients for our recipe. We add Heavy cream, Skim milk, Sucrose, Egg yolk and Vanilla extract to our recipe. We also set approximate weights to each ingredient. It should look like this.


Balancing

Ok, we have created a recipe with the same ingredients as in the ice cream we want to copy. The next step is to balance the recipe to have the same nutrition values.
So, we open up the Balance tool and select the Nutrients from the Target templates.

There are a few things we need to do before pressing Calculate.
First we make sure the “Fixed” checkbox is checked for the Vanilla extract. The vanilla extract will just be added in a very small amount so we will leave that out of the balancing.
The next step is to remove the Salt from the Target nutrients, we do this because the US nutrient labels does not have salt in them. If you are in the EU you can leave it as it is.
Important! When balancing for nutrient values you need to make sure all ingredients in the recipe have correct values put in for the nutrients you are balancing for!

Now we can start filling in the target values using the Nutrition label of the Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream.
All the values need to be input per 100g so we need to convert nutrient values given per serving size. If you double click in the target cell in the list a conversion tool will open. The first time you need to enter the serving size. So we start by clicking the Energy/100g target cell.

We fill in the serving size to 128g and the Value to 300

Now press OK or enter and the correct value per 100g is added to the cell.

Now we repeat this with the other targets.

Ok, we are done and have input all our target values. If you have a nutrient label in the EU you don’t need to use the conversion tool, just type in the values from the label directly.
The next step is to press Calculate.

Calculate

Ok, we have entered the nutrient label information for Energy (Calories), Total fat, Carbohydrates, Total sugar, Fiber and Protein. You can of course add/remove targets as you like but this is what we use in this tutorial.

Press Calculate and you should have something like this.

We are done. Press OK to update the recipe and return to the main page.

The resulting nutrient label will look like this and is very close to the Häagen-Dazs Vanilla.


This was a very simple example of how to use the balance tool. One thing to check after balancing is that the ingredients have the same order by weight as the ingredients on the ice cream you try to copy. The Häagen-Dazs ingredient list was like this.
Cream, Skim Milk, Cane Sugar, Egg Yolks, Vanilla Extract
This means the cream weighs more than the skim milk.
In our recipe the ingredients sorted by weight is like this.
Skim milk, Heavy cream, Sucrose, Egg yolk, Vanilla extract
The reason in this case is probably that the Cream used in the Häagen-Dazs ice cream has a lower fat content than the 36% in the Heavy Cream. I made the balancing again after replacing the Heavy Cream with Light whipping Cream that had 30% fat. And this time the ingredients are in the correct order.

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