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A study carried out at Milan University showed that hand-made gelato is a balanced food. It can even replace a meal, or else be a gratifying non-fat snack.
Milan University was commissioned by AIIPA, ACOMAG and SIGEP of Rimini, which have for years been promoting quality hand-made gelato, to examine some samples to measure the percentage and quality of the fats, sugars, proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in them.
Performed by a pool of experts headed by Prof. Marisa Porrini, lecturer at the Department of Food Science and Technology and Prof. Michele Carruba, Director of the Center for Study and Research on Obesity, at the University of Milan, the aim of the study is to show what nutritional characteristics hand-made gelato has and then to assess whether it can be considered as a food that is suitable for everyone.
They examined the 5 most popular flavors in Italy, i.e. chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, strawberry and lemon. In order to get a balanced mix of creamy and fruity gelato, they added in berry fruits, which has plenty of vitamins, as well as anthocyanins and flavonoids, and antioxidants with their protective characteristics.
Comparison with other foods
When we look at the data, it is easy to see that 100 g of vanilla gelato contain around 220 calories and 100 g of fruit gelato around 100, whereas 100 g of plain chocolate have 542, an Italian rusk-like delicacy known as fette biscottate 410, nutella hazelnut spread 537, a jam tart 339, a snack between 350 and 460, depending on whether it contains jam or sponge, pop corn 383.
What is more, hand-made gelato is one of the few desserts which can earn itself the title of a fully balanced food, because the quantities of proteins, carbohydrates/sugars and fats it contains are in perfect proportion:in 100 g of chocolate gelato, for example, there are 4.3 g of protein, 8.1 g of fats, 2.3 g of fibre, and 23.6 g of total sugars. That is why it can rightly be considered a valid replacement for part of a meal and the best snack available, ideal for children because it is healthy, complete and genuine.
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