Apparently, not everybody screams for Blue Bell ice cream — the beloved Texas staple has been called out for using low-quality ingredients.
Eat This, Not That, a publication focused on food, nutrition and health, recently compiled a list of nine ice cream brands that use the lowest quality ingredients and Blue Bell came in at No. 9.
Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gum and vegetable gums in the Homemade Vanilla flavor were listed as reasons for the low score.
This isn’t the first time Blue Bell made headlines in the last year for some less-than-desirable press.
Mashed named Blue Bell ice cream the worst store-bought brand after nearly 20% of people surveyed cited it as their least favorite option.
The thing is — Mashed didn’t reveal how many people it surveyed and where the survey was taken. There’s a possibility the respondents had never even tried Blue Bell ice cream, but their methodology remains a mystery.
Despite some not-so-stellar headlines about ingredients, and of course that deadly listeria outbreak in 2015 that cost the company $19 million, Blue Bell still remains one of the most popular ice cream companies in the U.S.
It’s the third largest ice cream company in the country. Only Ben & Jerry’s and private label ice cream sales beat out Blue Bell, according to Zippia.
So what’s up with the ingredients Blue Bell got dinged for?
- High Fructose Corn Syrup - High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks, according to Mayo Clinic. It’s chemically similar to table sugar but Mayo Clinic states that there is currently insufficient evidence to say that high-fructose corn syrup is any less healthy than other types of sweeteners.
- Cellulose Gum - This is essentially a thickening agent and it’s used in an array of food products. According to Healthline, it comes from the cell walls of plants like wood pulp and cottonseeds. It’s considered a safe food additive but may cause you to experience loose bowel movements.
- Vegetable Gum - Persistence Market Research states that vegetable gums are used as thickeners in food products. They don’t alter flavor, taste, color or texture and are obtained from certain modified food starches. Side effects of eating too much of these gums are abdominal bloating and gas.