When it comes to dessert, there’s no competition; ice cream has ‘em licked every time.

In fact, the overall amount of ice cream sold in the UK each year exceeds 147m kilogrammes, a number that’s set to increase.

So, if you’re interested in starting an ice cream business there really is no time like the present.

It’s a thriving industry, and one in which you can let your imagination run riot – whether it’s dreaming up flavour combinations or ways of making your business stand out from the crowd.

But while you’ll get the chance to flex your flair for creative taste combinations and cool design, you’ll need to switch on your business brain too, so here are a few tips to get you started on your new adventure.

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If you are running a catering business, then you are probably going to include ice cream in your repertoire of delights.

And whether you make it in-house, or its produced elsewhere, it’s essential that you understand how long it can be kept.

After all, you want to serve it at its best and ensure it isn’t going to turn into a reputation-damaging health hazard.

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If you’re asking the question ‘how long will ice cream last in a freezer without power?’, the chances are the worst has happened and your freezer is no longer working.

Maybe it has broken down, or perhaps there has been a power cut; whatever the circumstances, you just know the one thing that may not survive is your ice cream.

Even if this hasn’t happened yet, there is certainly a possibility of power outages during the winter, and while it is a depressing scenario, it is always best to be prepared.

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There is always a temptation to refreeze ice cream once it has melted.

After all, it seems a waste to allow it to turn into a sticky mess. Why not just pop it back into the freezer, and hey presto?! Let it go hard again.

What harm could it do? You might ask.

There are certainly reasons why, if you are a business, you could want to refreeze ice cream that has melted. Cost is one, and maybe also the time and effort that has been taken by the chef to create a perfect icy confection.

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To understand the question ‘how long does home-made ice cream last?’, we should look at how it is created and compare the difference with products you’d buy from the supermarket.

What makes all ice cream utterly delicious is the combination of eggs, milk and sugar used as a basis for almost all flavours.

Yes, there are diary-free options and those which utilise different ingredients for those with dietary restrictions, but the majority of ice creams are a delectable combination of full-fat dairy.

So, it’s not the basic ingredients which distinguishes the home-made from commercial varieties of ice cream; it is how they are made.

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Haven’t we all done it at one time or another? We’ve taken an ice cream tub out of the freezer and forgotten to put it back. The result is a runny, gloopy mess.

So, what do you do?  Do you refreeze the ice cream? or Throw it away?

Umm. It’s a tricky one because on the one hand you may think, why not refreeze the ice-cream? It seems such a shame to throw it away when just a few hours before it has been a delicious airy, creamy delight.

Surely, if you pop it back, it will be just the same as it was before you left it out.

The bad news is the answer is… You should definitely bin it.

Ice cream isn’t the cheapest thing you’ll ever buy and if you are a restaurant or commercial operation, you may be tempted along the route of refreezing ice cream but this is not a good move.

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There are many kinds of commercial ice cream as you will see if you browse any supermarket freezer.

It’s not just flavours and specific brands that make this such a diverse product, but also the mode in which it is produced.

Most ice cream sold by supermarkets is made in a factory in large quantities, but not all commercial ice cream is created in this way.

For example, ice cream for restaurants is often artisanal and made in smaller batches.

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Ice cream is one of life’s gastronomic delights.

There is something magical about a dessert that is so cold and yet so creamy.

From plain vanilla to concoctions featuring flavours including fruits, chocolate and even cheese, it is a vehicle for constant culinary invention.

So, don’t take it for granted.

Ice cream is a truly marvellous thing, therefore isn’t it only right to ensure it retains its lovely, soft consistency?

We scoop up more ice cream in the UK now than we ever did according to statistics, but how many of us buy our ice cream and bung it in the freezer only to bring it out later to find that it is too hard to serve?

Keeping ice cream soft in freezer isn’t too difficult, but it does take a little more care. The reward, however, is worth it.

You may think keeping ice cream soft is just a matter of lowering the temperature but not so.

Your freezer should be set at between -5°F and 0°F. or -18°C, the optimum temperature for storing ice cream.

Lowering temperatures only brings risk of freezer burn, which destroys the texture of your ice cream and increases the chance of food poisoning.

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You might think that storing ice cream is easy.

Turn the temperature of your freezer down low and job done, but that is not the case.

Ice cream needs to be kept at a certain temperature to maintain its consistency and flavour.

Also, different varieties require a more nuanced handling. For example, gelato, a softer kind of confection, needs to be kept at slightly higher temperatures.

Packaging is also important for ice cream; it must be able to withstand lower temperatures and not impact negatively on taste.

As you can see, if you want your ice cream to remain as delicious as it was when first made, temperature is all-important.

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Just why do we use colour coding labels on food containers? It is essential in a modern commercial kitchen that everything is extremely well run and organised so that it meets the strict hygiene standards demanded by both the law and the consumer. If it isn’t then there will be a very real risk of customers coming away from the establishment with food poisoning or a life-threatening allergic reaction and nobody needs that to happen.

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