Is Your Ice Cream Really Ice Cream Or Frozen Dessert? Know The Difference

Ice cream or frozen dessert? Learn how to distinguish between the two before buying one.

Is Your Ice Cream Really Ice Cream Or Frozen Dessert? Know The Difference

Ice cream is a must in hot weather.

As temperatures rise, there's nothing quite like the cool, creamy bliss of a scoop of ice cream or a luscious frozen dessert. But amidst the swirls and scoops, do you truly know what you're indulging in? What you think is ice cream may just be a frozen dessert. Ice cream or frozen dessert - do you know what's in your frozen treat? Understanding the differences between these frozen delights can help you make informed choices. Let's learn about the fine line that separates ice cream from frozen desserts and how to discern between the two.

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What are ice cream and frozen desserts?

Ice cream, as defined by the Food Safety and Drug Administration Uttarakhand, is a frozen milk product crafted by freezing a pasteurized mix primarily derived from milk, with or without additional sweeteners and non-dairy ingredients. Conversely, frozen dessert, or Frozen Confection as per Uttarakhand's regulations, is concocted from a pasteurized mix containing edible vegetable oils or fats, alongside milk fat and other milk solids, sweeteners, and permitted non-dairy ingredients.

What Is The Difference Between Ice Cream And Frozen Dessert?


According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the distinction between ice cream and frozen desserts lies in the composition of their pasteurized mixes. While ice cream primarily features milk and milk-derived products, frozen desserts may incorporate a blend of milk fat, edible vegetable oils, and fats, along with vegetable protein products and sweeteners.


The standards set forth by regulatory bodies such as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India delineate the quality and safety parameters for both ice cream and frozen desserts. These standards ensure consumer safety by specifying the permissible ingredients and their proportions. While both products adhere to these regulations, the critical disparity lies in the fat sources utilized, with frozen desserts favouring vegetable fats like palm oil over dairy fats like milk fat.


Differentiating between ice cream and frozen dessert can be a challenge, given their similar texture and taste. However, a closer look at the label can give a clearer picture. Frozen dessert labels typically highlight the presence of edible vegetable oils and fats, alongside milk fat and protein products. By scrutinizing these details, consumers can make informed choices about their frozen treats.

Also Read5 Tips For Making Thick And Yummy Ice Creams At Home

Ice cream and frozen desserts look the same.

Ice cream and frozen desserts look the same.
Photo Credit: iStock

Ice Cream Or Frozen Dessert - Which Is Better:

From a health standpoint, the fat composition of ice cream and frozen desserts warrants attention. While ice cream boasts the nutritional benefits of dairy fats, frozen desserts may contain palm oil or hydrogenated fats, which can contribute to trans and saturated fat intake. These fats, when consumed in excess, may pose health risks. This means it is important to be mindful of consumption and scrutinize labels before your purchase.

Make Informed Choices

Ultimately, the choice between ice cream and frozen dessert hinges on individual preferences and dietary requirements. While ice cream offers the creamy richness of dairy fats, frozen desserts cater to diverse palates with their alternative fat sources. Factors such as lactose intolerance or dietary restrictions may influence one's preference for either option. 

So, the next time you indulge in a frozen treat, remember to ask yourself: Is it truly ice cream, or is it a frozen dessert? Better still - opt for homemade ice creams

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.