How Harmful Are Flavorings?

In a message dated 4/19/03 10:54:12 AM, diana writes:

Hi Rhio,

I've recently been making almond milk ice creams with something called a Donvier, a non electrical ice cream maker that makes ice cream in 20 minutes. The stuff I'm making is devine because I'm using lots of cherries, 8 small dates, to one cup of almonds and three cups of water. PLUS two teaspoons of flavorings (Pioneer brand),one of cherry and one of vanilla and a squirt of stevia. Since I don't know what exactly makes up the ingredients in the flavorings, I'm guessing that I'm making a toxic ice cream. Could it be as toxic as regular ice cream? i don't know. I know I could eliminate one teaspoon of flavoring by using a vanilla bean and the stevia for a few more dates. Then I'd be down to one teaspoon of something questionable. My question is how harmful are flavorings? My nose waters when I eat the combination with two teaspoons, so my body doesn't like something. I'll keep playing, but I'd really appreciate your suggestions.

Thank you,



Dear Diana,

Personally I stay away from all manufactured flavorings, in favor of using the real thing. You are on the right track by thinking of substituting vanilla bean for the vanilla extract.

The ice cream you are making is definitely not toxic when compared to commercial ice creams. It is 100 steps up in quality – but why compromise and use anything questionable? If your nose waters, this is a communication from your body that something is not right and I would listen to your body.

I'm not sure what could substitute for a cherry flavoring. I think you are using it to make the flavor of the cherries more prominent. The cherry flavor is diminished somewhat with the addition of the dates and almonds. What I have done to counter this is – once the ice cream is made, I add chopped fresh cherries over the top or mix them into the ice cream. (When cherries are out of season, I use frozen or home dried cherries to mix in.)

I make my ice cream by freezing the mix in ice cube trays and then, when it's frozen, blending it in a Vita Mix, or putting the cubes through the Champion with the blank in place.

I want to point out a problem that I see with the Donvier ice cream maker. I ordered one of those but then sent it back because the inside is aluminum. The plastic handle with the blades that turns the ice cream rubs against this aluminum in the process of making the ice cream. I did not feel comfortable with the possibility that some of the aluminum might be scraped, however minute, into the ice cream. (You'll notice it is a very tight fit and the plastic does rub against the aluminum inside.)

With blessings and peace,


April 19, 2003


Man! Bummer, I haven't purchased a Donvier yet, I've been testing others, a Donvier compared to something similar, but electric and you're right, they're both aluminum. Errr. I might have to rethink my buying decision. The blank screen in the juicer is not as much like ice cream as the Donvier. I used to do that too until my friend showed me this. Maybe aluminum doesn't leach in cold temperatures ?…

I really appreciate your suggestion about putting the fruit on afterwards. That'll give it a stronger berry taste. Thank you for your quick response.

Happy Easter,


Dear Diana,

As Rosana Rosana Dana* used to say "It's Always Something!!!!!"

Maybe aluminum doesn't leach in cold temperatures, but whose word are you going to take for it? Who has the true answer to that question? I'd rather be safe.

With blessings,


*Rosana Rosana Dana, a character played by Gilda Radner on the Saturday Night Live show.

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