Italy is set to declare war on ice cream sellers who pump compressed air into their mixtures to make them look fluffier, as the country seeks to defend the honour of its world-renowned gelato stands. Under proposals being considered by the Italian Senate, ice cream producers who fail to meet strict quality measures, such as limits on the amount of air added to the mixture, could be hit with a fine of up to 10,000 euro (£8,000). It is hoped that the reforms will have a chilling effect on cheapskate vendors posing as gelato artisans, who have been known to sell tubs which contain more air than ice cream. However, the plans have also whipped up resentment among some "gelato masters" who argue that pumping air into the mixture is not necessarily poor craftsmanship. The bill was proposed by six senators from the center-left Democratic and Italia Viva parties, who say it will better regulate the work of real ice cream artisans and protect consumer rights. The legislation also claims that inflating gelato with air goes against the basic rules of producing artisanal ice cream. “Italian gelato is one of the gastronomic symbols of our country, along with pasta and pizza,” said socialist senator Riccardo Nencini, one of the bill’s supporters. “But our laws do not preserve artisanal ice cream and producers who make it.” The draft bill, which has been assigned to the commerce and tourism commission in the Senate, also bans the use of certain cheap alternatives to fresh ingredients, such as artificial flavours, colouring and hydrogenated fats. According to sector rules, ice cream should contain no more than 30 per cent air, which artisanal producers achieve by mixing certain ingredients vigorously.