This post will explain where and how ingredients are saved and stored.
Ingredients can be saved in three different places.
- Standard database ingredients
- User database ingredients
- Recipe ingredients
In a recipe these three types of ingredients are color coded.
So, here Chocolate 70%, Sucrose and Salt are from the online standard database.
Cacao powder 21% is from the user database.
Fructose is a recipe ingredient. This means it is not in the standard or the user database.
A recipe RCP file is a standalone file, it has all the ingredients and their data included. This means that if you open an old RCP file or you get a RCP file from someone else you can always open it and get the correct ingredients, even if it contains ingredients that are not in the standard database or your local user database.
Every ingredient has a unique ID. This means that when you open a recipe the calculator knows exactly what ingredients are in the recipe and which database they belong to.
If the ID is empty or not found in the standard or user database the ingredient is flagged as a “recipe” ingredient and color coded red. The ingredient is absolutely fine it just means that it can not be located in any of the databases.
Using a unique ID for every ingredient also means you can have multiple ingredients with the same name, this is fine but maybe not recommended.
You can see the unique ID and some other info at the bottom left corner of the ingredient dialog.
When you open a recipe file the ingredients will be updated with the data from the database.
What does this mean?
Say you have an ingredient in your local user database and you have used this ingredient in a recipe. Remember this ingredient has a unique ID.
You save the recipe and sometime later you might change the data in the database for that ingredient. Maybe you change the Total fat or PAC or POD or even the Name of the ingredient.
The unique ID is still the same so when you open your old recipe, that you made with the original version of the ingredient, the calculator will detect this and replace the ingredient with the updated version from the database.
The bottom line is that when opening a recipe file the calculator will always try to update the ingredient using the version from the database as long as the ingredient still exists in the standard or user database.
The standard database contains 100+ of the most common ingredients to get you started. This database is an online SQL database that is managed by icecreamcalc. You can not edit the ingredients in the standard database, they are read-only.
If you need to modify a standard ingredient you will have to make a copy to you local user database. This is totally fine and nothing you should avoid doing if you like.
When you start the calculator the standard ingredients are loaded from the online SQL database.
If you do not have an internet connection the calculator will use a cashed copy of the standard database.
In the settings dialog you can choose if you want to load the standard database or not by checking the “Hide standard database” checkbox. If you only use your local database this is advisable.
Local user database
All ingredients that you add yourself will be stored in your local user database. These ingredients are fully editable and you have full control over them. If you use the calculator professionally it is recommended that you only use ingredients from the local database.
These ingredients are saved in a file called user.db. This file is located in the DATA folder, C:\ProgramData\Ice Cream Calculator. The easiest way to open this folder is to go to the Settings dialog and press the “Open data folder” button.
The local database is loaded when you start the calculator and saved when you close the calculator.
A recipe can also contain ingredients that are not found in any database. The reason for this can be that you open a recipe from someone else. If you use the Share dialog and open a recipe that recipe may contain ingredients not found in your database. In this case the ingredient is flagged as a “recipe” ingredient. Another reason can be that you have deleted the ingredient from the database. In any case if you double-click on a “recipe” ingredient to edit it you will be prompted to add it to the database. This gives you control of what ingredients you want to add to your local database.
Another way a “recipe” ingredient can be created is to use the “Evaporate ingredient” button. For example you are making a strawberry ice cream. The strawberries are boiled down to reduce water and intensify the flavor. You start with 300g of strawberries and after boiling them you have 150g left. Instead of adding “Strawberries cooked” to the database you can press the “Evaporate ingredient” and get a correct ingredient. When using the “Evaporate ingredient” you get a selection if you want to add this to the database or not. If you don’t add it to the database a “recipe” ingredient is created.