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Ingredients database explained

This post will explain where and how ingredients are saved and stored.

Ingredients can be saved in three different places.

  1. Standard database ingredients
  2. User database ingredients
  3. 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.

Ingredient IDs

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.

Modifying ingredients

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.

Standard 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.

Recipe ingredients

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.

9 thoughts on “Ingredients database explained”

  1. hey i was trying to add 6% fat milk as an ingredient , but milk doesnt have other solids …. it doesnt seems to recognize 9 % msnf in total solids with water content 85% and straight gives the 9% to other solids….. it is hindering my balancing of recipes = with other solids going way over the standard … how do i add the milk as an ingredient as well why wont it recognize msnf as total solids? shouldnt 9+6(msnf+fat) with other solids being 0 be total solids 15% and water 85 % … please let me know how to solve this

    1. Ok, the reason MSNF is not part of the automatic calculation of TotalSolids is because MSNF is a”mixed” value adding up several other nutrients.
      MSNF is everything that is not Fat in milk or cream so it contains all the Sugars, Proteins, Salts etc in milk.

      TotalSolids is calculated like this in the software.
      TotalSolids = OtherSolids + TotalFat + TotalSugars + Stabilizers + Salt + Protein
      OtherSolids = TotalSolids-(TotalFat + TotalSugars + Stabilizers + Salt + Protein)
      Water=100-TotalSolids-Alcohol

      MSNF is everything that is not fat in milk or cream. So just make sure that for example TotalSugars+Protein adds up to your MSNF.
      (If we add MSNF as well to the TotalSolids we would count nutrients twice.)

      So, easiest is to use the Dairy button in the Ingredient dialog and enter 6% fat.
      The second best way is to use the Nutrient label input and type in the actual nutrient label of the milk.
      If you enter the data manually you have to take the equations above into account.

  2. Hi there, I am really enjoying experimenting at home with your calculator and fine-tuning recipes. I am wondering if you know of anywhere or anyone from whom I can download or share ingredient entries or recipe files with? This is for hobby and not commercial use.
    I am in Canada and find that a lot of ingredients I would like to add are not in the USDA database, nor is it easy to determine exact sub-ingredient measurements or proportions to make an entry from scratch – for example, an oat milk beverage mix with added sunflower oil (for a non-dairy base – but that’s a whole different comment/question, probably).

    1. The only sharing possible inside the software is by using the Share button to share recipes and the ingredients in those recipes.
      I will email you directly with some more info.

  3. charbel charabaty

    Hello Dear

    I need your kind assistance to import citric acid( in its solid form ) to the ingredients DB
    what do you think the PAC of citric acid value is?

    many thanks in advance

    1. Citric acid is already in the database.
      I also just updated the PAC.
      The molecular weight of citric acid is 192.124 this gives a PAC of 178.2.
      In the ingredient dialog there is a PAC/POD button where you can enter the molecular weight and get the PAC.

  4. Hello, could you add some new fields for fruit category which I can type in specific sugar composition such as fructose, dextrose and succrose? I have a brix refractometer and I can measure the sugar content but I assume that sugar content consists of the 3 types of above-mentioned sugar. Thank you

    1. You can already do this.
      In the Ingredient dialog press the PAC/POD button to enter the sugar composition.

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