Halo Top ice cream comes in more than two dozen traditional and whimsical flavors — like “Birthday Cake” and “Peanut Butter Cup” — all of which contain the same core ingredients.
The ingredient list for vanilla is: skim milk, eggs, erythritol, prebiotic fiber, milk protein concentrate, cream, organic cane sugar, vegetable glycerin, natural flavors, sea salt, vanilla beans, organic carob gum, organic guar gum, and organic stevia leaf extract.
In vegan versions, the milk and eggs are swapped out for a base of coconut cream mixed with water, which is essentially reduced-fat coconut milk .
Here’s a closer look at some of Halo Top ice cream’s core ingredients.
In addition to cane sugar, Halo Top contains two natural sugar substitutes — stevia leaf extract and erythritol.
Stevia leaf extract comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant and is calorie-free (, ).
Erythritol is virtually calorie-free in the amounts typically used. The source of this sweetener varies. In Halo Top ice cream, it’s made from yeast fermentation of corn starch (, ).
Due to its chemical structure, erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol. In contrast to other sweeteners of this type, including sorbitol, it’s unlikely to cause nausea or diarrhea unless you eat more than 50 grams. One pint of Halo Top ice cream contains 20 grams ().
Fiber and gums
Ice cream doesn’t naturally contain fiber. However, Halo Top adds prebiotic fiber, which may fuel the growth of good bacteria in your large intestine ().
Two gums — carob and guar — are also used in the ice cream. They come from carob seeds and guar beans, both of which are legumes (, ).
These gums are soluble fibers, meaning they absorb liquid and form a gel. They are added to Halo Top to help replace fat and stabilize the product. This helps reduce ice crystal formation, resulting in a smoother texture (, ).
Nevertheless, Halo Top doesn’t have the same creamy texture as regular ice cream. Rather, it may feel somewhat dry in your mouth.
Some of the protein in dairy-based Halo Top products comes from skim milk and eggs. The rest comes from milk protein concentrate — milk that’s filtered to collect the proteins ().
The protein in the nondairy, vegan versions is isolated from rice and peas. It amounts to only 3 grams per 1/2-cup (64-gram) serving, compared to 5 grams in the dairy varieties.
Vegetable glycerin, natural flavors, and natural colors are also added to Halo Top products.
Glycerin , which is made from vegetable oil and helps retain moisture, improves the product’s texture and may provide subtle sweetness ( 13 ).
It’s uncertain what the natural flavors are, as they’re regarded as trade secrets. “Natural” simply means they’re derived from plants, animals, or the action of microbes ( 14 ).
The natural colors come from the juices of vegetables and fruits, as well as golden-colored turmeric and annatto, a red plant extract. Summary In addition to skim milk or reduced-fat coconut milk for the base, Halo Top products contain cream, organic cane sugar, sugar substitutes, prebiotic fiber, gums, added proteins, and natural flavors and colors.
This content was originally published here.