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Stabilizer Experiment

In this experiment I did three identical ice creams with different amount of stabilizers. The idea was to figure out how they differ and what amount I liked best. Specifically I have looked at overrun, melting, texture, taste and mouthfeel.

The stabilizer used is Locust Bean Gum (LBG)


The recipe used is a basic unflavored base with three egg yolks.

410g Milk (3%)
325g Cream (40%)
35g Skim milk powder
51g Egg yolk
143g Sucrose
35g Dextrose

The composition is like this


Three different samples was prepared.
Sample A
Sample B
1.45g LBG corresponding to 0.25% of the water and 0.15% of total weight
Sample C
2.9g LBG corresponding to 0.50% of the water and 0.30% of total weight

All samples were prepared the same, heated to 85C/185F and aged for six hours then churned in my Musso Stella and extracted at around -8C/18F.

Mix after ageing

The viscosity of the samples was very different.
Sample A without stabilizer was watery.
Sample B with 1.45g LBG was thicker.
Sample C with 2.9g LBG was even thicker as you can see in the image.
Sample B clearly had the best viscosity. Sample A was too watery and Sample C was a little too thick.


I measure the overrun for all three samples.
Sample A
Sample B
Sample C

So a slightly higher overrun from Sample B but this is a little uncertain and could be measuring errors.


The actual taste was almost identical for the three samples. This tells us that the LBG itself does not change the flavor very much of the ice cream. The only noticeable difference was that Sample A tasted a little bit sweeter compared to the other two samples.

Texture and Mouthfeel

Now, here is when we start to notice quite big differences between the samples.
Sample A
The ice cream feels light and melts quickly in the mouth, there is almost no lingering flavor at all. This is not how I like my ice cream, the flavor disappears almost right away.
Sample B
A little denser compared to A and the flavor lingers in the mouth for a longer time. Much better compared to A.
Sample C
Maybe a little bit denser than B but not by much. The flavor also lingers even longer than B but you also get a slight cloying film in your mouth that is a little bit unpleasant. I’d still prefer C to A.

All samples are quite smooth but Sample B and C have a little less ice crystals and are a little smoother than A.


Images show the samples A, B and C at ten minute intervals.

One observation is that Sample A melts a little faster in the first ten minutes. After the first ten minutes the rate of melting is almost the same. The viscosity of the melted ice cream is very different between the samples and compares well to the mix before churning.


Adding Locust Bean Gum as stabilizer will greatly improve the ice cream compared to no stabilizer. The texture, consistency and melt of the ice cream is better. However adding too much will make the ice cream too viscous and can add a cloying film in the mouth that is a little unpleasant.

My personal preference is clearly Sample B with 0.25% LBG of the water weight. I think a little more would be even better maybe 0.30% to 0.35% of the water weight would be perfect.

16 thoughts on “Stabilizer Experiment”

  1. Thanks for this experiment.

    When you use LBG+Guar you add both before heating, right? I’ve read elsewhere that you should mix in Guar in the chilled base with a blender…wonder if it makes a difference…

    Is LBG known to cause an allergic reaction like leaving the tongue and mouth feeling burned/frostbitten for a limited time after eating? Have you heard of it? I have this feeling sometimes after eating (my) ice cream and I feel it only happens after ice cream with LBG. I have to do some further testing though to make sure it’s not the milk powder, but I haven’t had this reaction when using Tara or Tapioca as stabilizer…

    Thank you!

    1. All stabilizers should be mixed withe the sugars before adding. Best is to use a stick blender or whisk vigorously to avoid lumps.
      I have not heard LBG causing any such reactions. Some say Dextrose can give you a cold sensation but I haven’t noticed that either.

    2. Oh, I can totally relate to the cold feeling of ice cream with Dextrose, it tastes colder to me, too, but in a good way. It leaves no odd feeling or after taste.

      Thanks for your quick reply.

  2. Thanks.. I will follow you experiment 🙂. Yes for lower solids ice-cream, i think you are right. You can buy Carrageenan Lota and a lot of other Stabilizer her, in Denmark: . I think they also sends to Sweden. Regarding hydration of LGB, i read this: LGB has to be heated to about 80°C (176°F) for 20 – 30 minutes for complete solubilisation and full viscosity in water (Garcia-Ochoa & Casas, 1992). Heating above 80°C (176°F) may cause a reduction in the viscosity of the solution (Barak & Mudgil, 2014). I was in the impression that LGB hydrates best at 85°. Do you know if it is just A difference of opinion or maybe at typing error ?.
    The source is:

    1. I know Kappa and Iota carrageenan is available in Europe but I have not found anywhere to buy Lambda Carrageenan.
      I order mine from modernistpantry in the US. Let me know if you find Lambda!
      Regarding hydration of LBG I’m really not sure, and according to the underbelly website it can differ between suppliers.
      I heat mine to 85C anyway and it seams fine.

  3. Hey Patrik.
    Nice experiment.. happy i found you website. Is use LBG togeter with eggs, a lot in my recipes, currently with a dosage of 0,19 of the water. I have looked at you LBG, GURA, Carrageenan combo, and was thinking of trying something similar, like this: LBG+ Sodium Alginate (E401), for wheying off, combined with soy lecithin, instead of eggs, and maybe Guar like you. I have high solid content i my ice-cream like you, that’s why i was thinking of skipping Gura,i was thinking the high solid content in the ice-cream, would give enough body to the ice-cream togeter with the to other Stabilizers. I have never used Guar before. What is your experience of using Gura+LGB together, do i get something else out of the combination, than body to the ice-cream ?

    1. Hi,
      In my experience guar gives more body, viscosity and chew to the ice cream.
      Maybe Guar can be useful when making ice cream with lower solids but as you say with higher solids I’m not sure it is needed.
      I haven’t used Sodium Alginate but will definitely check it out as Lambda Karrageenan is impossible to get hold of in Europe.
      The other reason to use LBG+Guar is that they strengthen each other and you can maybe use a lower total amount.
      In this experiment I did not notice any wheying off, I would like to make an experiment to check this and see if it is a real problem.

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