SHERYL AFONSO e D’SOUZA
CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST (NORBERT’S FITNESS STUDIO) & ASST. PROFESSOR (POST-GRADUATE DEGREE STUDIES, CARMEL COLLEGE)
Whipped cream is a culinary colloid produced when heavy cream is mechanically aerated. In order to obtain whipped cream, the cream from dairy milk is first collected; this cream should contain at least 35% fat. As this cream is whisked, the fat molecules start to join together (coalesce) and form pockets of air, gradually making a stable structure – this is ‘whipped cream’, its volume being roughly double that of the original cream. If you whip too long, the fat can break apart again and that’s when you’ll get butter! Whipped cream is fairly thick, and is often sweetened and sometimes flavoured with vanilla, coffee, chocolate, orange, etc. Low-fat cream or milk does not whip well, and hence, a minimum fat percentage of 35% will ensure a lighter, creamier, and more stable product. Very often, a stabilizing agent such as gum tragacanth, gelatin, diphosphate (E450) or whipped egg whites may be used in commercial whipped cream.
With a lot of today’s population being allergic or intolerant to dairy, substitutes for dairy-based whipped cream are flooding the market. These substitutes used in bakery and confectionery products also score for the vegan consumer, besides being relatively cheaper than their dairy counterpart. Tropolite is one such brand that has introduced into the market non-dairy whipped cream. Other brands have perfected the art of manufacturing non-dairy whipped cream using coconut milk and almond milk as the base ingredient.
The ingredients used in Tropolite non-dairy whipped cream include Edible Vegetable Oils and Fats, Sugar, a Vegetable Protein Concentrate, Emulsifiers, Thickeners, and Acidifying Regulators in addition to Water and Salt. Apart from being a high-energy food due to its superlatively high fat content, whipped cream (whether dairy or non-dairy) is not a source of any other nutrient. Small amounts of carbohydrate may be gathered from whipped cream due to the sugars added to it during its production. Tropolite, by virtue of it being a vegetarian fat-based product, offers to its consumer monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are known to be healthier than the saturated fat that one gets from dairy-based whipped cream. Another (miniscule) advantage that Tropolite may have is its ‘zero cholesterol’ content – once again because it is a vegetarian-derived product.
The bottom line – whether dairy or non-dairy whipped cream, one needs to exert caution in the use and consumption of the product due to its high fat content.