In Singapore’s sweltering climate, iced drinks and desserts are always a welcome treat. There are many options available for customers, ranging from shaved ice to ice cream in various forms, such as gelato and soft serve. Learn more about how soft serve machines work, along with some of the useful features that soft serve machines provide to F&B establishments in Singapore.
What is soft serve?
Soft serve, also known as soft ice, gets its name as a result of having air introduced during the freezing process. This makes it softer and less dense, in contrast to ‘harder’ ice cream that is traditionally scooped out from tubs. Due to its nature, soft serve is not pre-packaged but is dispensed via soft serve machines, which are common at specialty shops, restaurants, and event venues in Singapore.
Soft serve machines dispense a variety of frozen treats, ranging from yoghurt to ice cream and. They combine fresh mix with a set percentage of air, known as overrun, into the freezing chamber, where it is churned and quickly frozen and stored until required. Soft serve has a number of advantages as compared to regular ice cream, generally due to it requiring minimal preparation as well as being easier to resupply due to the availability of various types of premixes, ranging from fresh liquid to powdered and ultra heat treated mix. It can also be considered as a healthier dessert option, due to containing less milk fat as compared to regular ice cream.
What features do soft serve machines have?
There are various types of soft serve machines available for F&B establishments in Singapore, and they come in different sizes, features and options. They can range from smaller-sized countertop machines which allow employees to refill and make new batches as needed, to larger floor models that are ideal for churning out larger volumes of soft serve.
Soft serve machines in Singapore feature either a gravity feed or a pressurised (pump) feed to manage overrun, which is the percentage of air incorporated into the premix during the freezing process. This keeps your final product, be it yoghurt or ice cream, more consistent in smoothness, consistency, and taste. Gravity-fed machines utilise gravity to feed premix into the freezing cylinder, while pump-fed machines utilise a pump to do so. Gravity-fed machines produce more intense and flavourful product while being more economical and easier to maintain due to less moving parts, while pump-fed machines can produce a large volume of finished product mix as well as a smoother and creamier texture due to infusing more air into the mix.
Soft serve ice cream machines also come with various features, ranging from a pasteurisation function which utilises heat treatment to kill bacteria in dairy products, to an inverter system which allows for dairy products to be maintained for up to two weeks, reducing wastage and the need to constantly top up premix. Other features include having additional nozzles to allow the dispensing of two separate flavours simultaneously, creating a swirl pattern that is beloved by customers, along with a touchscreen for easier usage and operation. They also incorporate standby modes and power-saving features when not in use, helping to reduce utility bills for F&B establishments.
Some soft serve ice cream machines are ideal for self-service at buffet and sundae bars, featuring a coin-operated system along with automated dispensing which allows for fine control of the dispensed soft serve quantity along with texture and softness. This allows customers to purchase and customise their own soft serve yoghurt or ice cream to their personal preferences, while also freeing up staff members to handle other tasks.
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