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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 17, 1912, Image 12

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-04-17/ed-1/seq-12/

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Food Inspectors Should Look for Artificial yCoffee" Beans-
v "Dopers" at Soda Fountains Are Most Subtle '
Mixers, Says Dr. Wiley.
By Dr. H. W. Wiley.
The mixing of natural bodies
which command a high price with
chemical synthetics, which can be
produced at a low price is often
done. The chemist has discover
ed that the flavoring matters
found in fruits and flowers are
generally composed of chemical
compounds to which the general
term "ethers" has been applied.
These ethers are all very frag
rant,, mote or less volatile and ex
tremely penetrating. "
Many natural flavoring mat
ters are now becoming objects of
great cost, as for instance, the
vanilla bean, which has increas
ed in price until now it has reach
ed a very high figure. It has
therefore been thought necessary,
from the point of view of pecun
iary gain, to mix this natural pro
duct with a synthetical product
made in the laboratory.
We thus find on sale also an
artificial banana-flavoring, an ar-
- fificial pineapple flavoring, as
well as many other synthetics of
this same general character.
These bodies are used largely in
cheapening the drinks sold at the
soda fountains and in other
places. It is evident that they
must cheapen .the product in or-
der to make their use profitable.
. ' Perhaps there is no form of
' adulteration which requires more
skill on the part of the compound
er than that which sroes into the
I production of these artificial fla
voring agents Thus the highest
skill in applied chemistry is called
in to aid processes of food debase
ment, a condition anything but
creditable. -
Chemical science should not be
held responsible for its misappli
cation. Some of the highest tri
umphs of chemical genius haye
been in the discovery and manu
facture of bodies which subse
quently have been used for the
purpose of adulteration. But this
subsequent use does not detract
anything from the reputation and
glory of the chemist.
In addition to mixing a high
priced with a cheaper product, by
resorting to the use of chemical
synthetics, a third method of
adulteration may be mentioned,
namely, imitation of the genuine
product. This is a very extensive
field. Sometimes the imitation is
accomplished without the ex
penditure of much skill and again
the highest technical skill and the
greatest care must be exercised
to produce the imitation.
A few years ago when coffee
sold at a high price, numerous at
tempts were made, some of them
successful, to make artificial
beans resembling the natural
beans out of some cheaper sub
stance and coloring them, on the
one hand to imitate the green

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