Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes the sweet, creamy goodness of ice cream. But before you indulge in a Dairy Queen cone, have you ever wondered what’s really in their soft serve?
With concerns about high fructose corn syrup and other additives in our food, it’s natural to question what we’re consuming. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients in Dairy Queen’s soft serve and answer the burning question: does it contain high fructose corn syrup?
Get ready to satisfy your curiosity and your sweet tooth.
Does Dairy Queen Use High Fructose Corn Syrup?
After researching the ingredients in Dairy Queen’s soft serve, we can confirm that it does contain corn syrup. However, it is not high fructose corn syrup.
High fructose corn syrup has been linked to numerous health issues, including increased belly fat and insulin resistance. It’s no wonder that many people are concerned about consuming it. But rest assured, Dairy Queen’s soft serve does not contain this controversial ingredient.
Instead, the second ingredient listed in Dairy Queen’s soft serve is nonfat milk. Sugar and corn syrup follow closely behind, but the type of corn syrup used is not specified. It could be either regular corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, but based on the order of ingredients, it’s more likely to be the former.
While it’s always important to be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies, it’s good to know that Dairy Queen’s soft serve does not contain high fructose corn syrup.
The Ingredients In Dairy Queen’s Soft Serve
Dairy Queen’s soft serve is made up of several ingredients, including milkfat, nonfat milk, sugar, corn syrup, whey, mono and diglycerides, artificial flavor, guar gum, polysorbate 80, carrageenan, and vitamin A palmitate. While some of these ingredients are FDA-approved and commonly used in food production, others have raised concerns.
For instance, mono and diglycerides are used to ensure a smooth texture but can cause irritation in high concentrations. Guar gum prevents ice crystal growth but has been linked to abdominal pain and other digestive issues. Polysorbate 80 binds ice cream together but has been linked to cancer and adverse reproductive effects in animals. Carrageenan is used to thicken the soft serve but has been linked to inflammation and gut irritation.
It’s worth noting that 40 percent of Dairy Queen’s soft serve is air, according to Wired. This is not abnormal since anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of any ice cream is air, as stated by the American Chemical Society. Dairy Queen’s soft serve also contains a lower fat content than most ice cream.
If you’re looking for a homemade alternative to Dairy Queen’s soft serve, you can try making a copycat recipe using gelatin, whole milk, sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and cream. This recipe ensures that you know exactly what ingredients are going into your frozen treat. Overall, while Dairy Queen’s soft serve may contain some concerning ingredients like corn syrup and emulsifiers, it’s still a delicious treat enjoyed by many.
What Is High Fructose Corn Syrup?
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an artificial sweetener made from corn starch. It is created by breaking down the starch into glucose with enzymes, and then converting some of that glucose into fructose using D-xylose isomerase. HFCS is often compared to granulated sugar, but it is cheaper and easier to handle in manufacturing.
Different formulations of HFCS contain varying amounts of fructose, with the most common forms being HFCS 42 and HFCS 55, which contain 42% and 55% fructose, respectively. HFCS 42 is used in processed foods and breakfast cereals, while HFCS 55 is primarily used in soft drinks.
While the United States Food and Drug Administration states that it is not aware of evidence showing that HFCS is less safe than traditional sweeteners such as sucrose and honey, some studies have linked high consumption of HFCS to negative health effects such as obesity, insulin resistance, and increased belly fat.
It’s important to note that while Dairy Queen’s soft serve does contain corn syrup, it is not high fructose corn syrup.
The Controversy Surrounding High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been a controversial topic for years. Some experts argue that it is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic, while others claim that it is no different than regular table sugar. The debate was sparked by a 2004 study suggesting that the consumption of HFCS increased more than 1,000 percent over the past 30 years, far exceeding changes in intake of any other food.
Research has linked HFCS to numerous health issues, including increased liver fat, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. One study showed that drinking sucrose-sweetened soda for six months significantly increased liver fat compared to drinking milk, diet soda, or water. Other research has found that fructose can increase liver fat to a greater extent than equal amounts of glucose. Liver fat accumulation can lead to serious health problems, such as fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
On the other hand, supporters of HFCS argue that it is no worse than regular sugar. They claim that both HFCS and sucrose are a blend of fruit sugar (fructose) and glucose and that the human body cannot tell the difference between the two. Some studies have found that HFCS is no more obesity-promoting than sucrose.
Despite the conflicting opinions, many people still choose to avoid HFCS altogether. It is commonly used in processed foods and even packaged foods labeled as low-fat often use HFCS to compensate for the flavor lost when reducing the fat content. If not avoided completely, HFCS should be consumed in limited quantities.
Other Additives In Dairy Queen’s Soft Serve
Aside from corn syrup, Dairy Queen’s soft serve also contains several other additives. One of these is mono and diglycerides, which are used to create a smooth texture. While these additives are FDA-approved, they can cause irritation in high concentrations and must be carefully controlled in food products.
Another additive in Dairy Queen’s soft serve is guar gum, which prevents ice crystal growth. While it’s generally considered safe, it has been linked to asthma, abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea, and cramps when used in other manufacturing processes.
Polysorbate 80 is also an ingredient in Dairy Queen’s soft serve, which binds the ice cream together. While no human data has been found linking it to adverse effects, it has been linked to cancer and adverse reproductive effects in animals.
Lastly, carrageenan is an FDA-approved carbohydrate derived from red seaweed that gives the soft serve its thickness. However, like Polysorbate 80, it has been linked to inflammation, gut irritation, and cancer in animals.
It’s important to note that the amount of these additives in a serving of Dairy Queen’s soft serve is not enough to cause harm to the human body. However, for individuals with certain sensitivities or allergies to these additives, it may be best to avoid consuming Dairy Queen’s soft serve altogether.
Are There Health Risks Associated With Consuming Dairy Queen’s Soft Serve?
Although Dairy Queen’s soft serve does contain some additives, there is no evidence to suggest that they are harmful in the amounts used. According to a chemist, there are very few health risks associated with the food additives found in Dairy Queen’s soft serve.
One claim on social media suggested that consuming Dairy Queen’s soft serve can allow brain viruses to enter the body. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. The only ingredients that appear in both the Instagram post and Dairy Queen’s ingredient list for a vanilla cone are carrageenan, mono and diglycerides, and polysorbate 80. These additives are used in small amounts as emulsifiers and stabilizers to give the soft serve a creamy consistency.
Carrageenan is on the FDA’s list of Generally Recognized As Safe food additives and has been reviewed by the World Health Organization Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations Expert Committee on Food Additives. They found that its use in infant formula is “not of concern” at up to 1,000 milligrams per liter.
Polysorbate 80 is also an FDA-approved emulsifier used in many food products. It should not exceed 0.1 percent of the finished frozen dessert according to the FDA.
Mono and diglycerides are also FDA-approved emulsifiers used to blend oil and water, specifically used here to give their soft serve a creamier consistency. Both are on the General Recognized As Safe list.
While Dairy Queen’s soft serve does contain sugar and corn syrup, it’s important to note that these ingredients are not harmful when consumed in moderation. As with any food, it’s important to practice moderation and balance in our diets.