by Patrick Di Justo
It’s the main ingredient. But like any whipped product, Cool Whip contains a high percentage of air. At 41 cents per ounce, you’re buying mostly water and air for just over twice what it would cost to whip real cream yourself.
Natural and Artificial Flavorings
Cool Whip doesn’t really taste like much, but Kraft’s recipe for blandness is a trade secret. That means the company doesn’t have to disclose the specific flavorings.
Corn Syrup and High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar by other names. Corn syrup is mostly glucose. High-fructose corn syrup is corn syrup treated with amylase and other enzymes, which together help convert glucose into fructose. A diet high in fructose is known to make lab mice fatter than other diets, so keep your research animals away from Cool Whip.
Hydrogenated Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil
Cool Whip needs to feel like whipped cream in the mouth without actually being, you know, made with cream. One cheap, reliable way to replicate the texture is by using semi- solidified plant oils. The best method of solidifying plant oils: Bubble high- pressure hydrogen through them. Of course, if not done completely, the result is trans fat. These days, Kraft avoids that.
Polysorbates are made by polymerizing ethylene oxide (a precursor to antifreeze) with a sugar alcohol derivative. The result can be a detergent, an emulsifier, or, in the case of polysorbate 60, a major ingredient in some sexual lubricants.
Also common in powdered non-dairy creamer, this protein derived from cow milk helps oil and water mix.
Chemists call this stuff synthetic wax, and it’s sometimes used as a hemorrhoid cream. It’s one of the magical substances that keep Cool Whip from turning to liquid over time in the fridge.
Xanthan and Guar Gums
These are natural thickeners, and together they provide more viscosity than either does alone. Guar also helps retard the formation of ice crystals, another key to preserving fluffiness.
So what’s in your Fridge?