Overrun is a term that is used frequently in the ice cream trade. In simple terms, it’s the percentage of air that is held within a frozen product such as ice cream, gelato or sorbet.
All ice cream, gelato and sorbet products naturally have a percentage of air. Without air, they would be too dense and hard, lacking the beautifully smooth texture which you associate with quality a product.
Air increases the volume of the finished product, you probably already know this increases profit, but obviously, too much air can lower the quality of the product considerably.
On average, one litre of liquid ice cream mix before being frozen weighs approximately 1 kilo, the same weight of frozen mix will no longer fit in a 1 litre container, it now requires a 1.4 litre container due to the increase in volume due to the air content. As such, frozen ice cream products are more often sold by volume rather than their weight.
All frozen products have a different percentage of air, typically but not definitively some examples are:
Scoop Gelato – Typically 25-30%
Scoop Ice Cream – Typically 50-60%
Soft Serve Ice Cream (gravity machine) – Typically 30-35%
Soft Serve Ice Cream (pump machine) – Typically 60-80%
We have produced an Overrun Calculator which you can download here to help work out your own overrun.