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ADULTERATION OF DAIRY PRODUCE

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Originally appearing in Volume V07, Page 756 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ADULTERATION OF DAIRY PRODUCE 1 The Sale of Food and Drugs Act 1899, which came into operation on the 1st of January woo, contains several sections relating to the trade in dairy produce in the United Kingdom. Section 1 imposes penalties in the case of the importation of produce in-sufficiently marked, such as (a) margarine or margarine-cheese, except in passages conspicuously marked " Margarine " or " Margarine-cheese "; (b) adulterated or impoverished butter (other than margarine) or adulterated or impoverished milk or cream, except in packages or cans conspicuously marked with a name or description indicating that the butter or milk or cream has been so treated; (c) condensed separated or skimmed milk, except in tins or other receptacles which bear a label whereon the words " machine-skimmed milk " or " skimmed milk " are printed in large and legible type. For the purposes of this section an article of food is deemed to be adulterated or impoverished if it has been mixed with any other substance, or if any part of it has been abstracted, so as in either case to affect injuriously its quality, substance, or nature; provided that an article of food shall not be deemed to be adulterated by reason only of the addition of any preservative or colouring matter of such a nature and in such quantity as not to render the article injurious to health. Section 7 provides that every occupier of a manufactory of margarine or margarine-cheese, and every wholesale dealer in such substances, shall keep a register showing the quantity and destination of each consignment of such sub-stances sent out from his manufactory or place of business, and this register shall be open to the inspection of any officer of the board of agriculture. Any such officer shall have power to enter at all reasonable times any such manufactory, and to inspect any process of manufacture therein, and to take samples for analysis. Section 8 is of much practical importance, as it limits the quantity of butter-fat which may be contained in margarine; it states that it shall be unlawful to manufacture, sell, expose for sale or import any margarine the fat of which contains more than ro% of butter-fat, and every person who manufactures, sells, exposes for sale or imports any margarine which contains more than that percentage shall be guilty of an offence under the Margarine Act 1887. For the purposes of the act margarine-cheese is defined as " any substance, whether compound or otherwise, which is prepared in imitation of cheese, and which contains fat not derived from milk "; whilst cheese is defined as " the substance usually known as cheese, containing no fat derived otherwise than from milk." The so-called " filled " cheese of American origin, in which the butter-fat of the milk is partially or wholly replaced by some other fat, would come under the head of " margarine-cheese." In making such cheese a cheap form of fat, usually of animal origin, but sometimes vegetable, is added to and incorporated with the skim-milk, and thus takes the place previously occupied by the genuine butter-fat. The act is regarded by some as defective in that it does not prohibit the artificial colouring of margarine to imitate butter. In connexion with this act a departmental committee was appointed in 1900 " to inquire and report as to what regulations, if any, may with advantage be made by the board of agriculture under section 4 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act 1899, for ' See also the article ADULTERATION. determining what deficiency in any of the normal constituents of genuine milk or cream, or what addition of extraneous matter or proportion of water, in any sample of milk (including condensed milk) or cream, shall for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, raise a presumption, until the contrary is proved, that the milk or cream is not genuine." Much evidence of the highest interest to dairy-farmers was taken, and subsequently published as a Blue-Book (Cd. 484). The report of the committee (Cd. 491) included the following "recommendations," which were signed by all the members excepting one: I. That regulations under section 4 of the Food and Drugs Act 1899 be made by the board of agriculture with respect to milk (including condensed milk) and cream. II. (a) That in the case of any milk (other than skimmed, separated or condensed milk) the total milk-solids in which on being dried at too° C. do not amount to 12 % a presumption shall be raised, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is deficient in the normal constituents of genuine milk. (b) That any milk (other than skimmed, separated or condensed milk) the total milk-solids in which are less than 12%, and in which the amount of milk-fat is less than 3.25 %, shall be deemed to be deficient in milk-fat as to raise a presumption, until the contrary is proved, that it has been mixed with separated milk or water, 'or that some portion of its normal content of milk-fat has been removed. In calculating the percentage amount of deficiency of fat the analyst shall have regard to the above-named limit of 3-25% of milk-fat. (c) That any milk (other than skimmed, separated or condensed milk) the total milk-solids in which are less than 12 %, and in which the amount of non-fatty milk-solids is less than 8.5 %, shall be deemed to be so deficient in normal constituents as to raise a presumption, until the contrary is proved, that it has been mixed with water. In calculating the percentage amount of admixed water the analyst shall have regard to the above-named limit of 8.5 % of non-fatty milk-solids, and shall further take into account the extent to which the milk-fat may exceed 3.25%. IV. That any skimmed or separated milk in which the total milk-solids are less than 9 % shall be deemed to be so deficient in normal constituents as to raise a presumption, until the contrary is proved, that it has been mixed with water. V. That any condensed milk (other than that labelled " machine-skimmed milk " or " skimmed milk," in conformity with section 11 of the Food and Drugs Act 1899) in which either the amount of milk-fat is less than to%, or the amount of non-fatty milk-solids is less than 25%, shall be deemed to be so deficient in some of the normal constituents of milk as to raise a presumption, until the contrary is proved, that it is not genuine. The committee further submitted the following expressions of opinion on points raised before them in evidence: (a) That it is desirable to call the attention of those engaged in the administration of the Food and Drugs Acts to the necessity of adopting effective measures to prevent any addition of water, separated or condensed milk, or other extraneous matter, for the purpose of reducing the quality of genuine milk to any limits fixed by regulation of the board of agriculture. (b) That it is desirable that steps should be taken with the view of identifying or " ear-marking " separated milk by the addition of some suitable and innocuous substance, and by the adoption of procedure similar to that provided by section 7 of the Food and Drugs Act 1899, in regard to margarine. (c) That it is desirable that, so far as may be found practicable, the procedure adopted in collecting, forwarding, and retaining pending 'examination, samples of milk (including condensed milk) and cream under the Food and Drugs Acts should be uniform. (d) That it is desirable that, so far as may be found practicable, the methods of analysis used in the examination of samples of milk (including condensed milk) or cream taken under the Food and Drugs Acts should be uniform. (e) That it is desirable in the case of condensed milk (other than that labelled " machine-skimmed milk " or " skimmed milk," in conformity with section 11 of the Food and Drugs Act 1899) that the label should state the amount of dilution required to make the proportion of milk-fat equal to that found in uncbndensed milk containing not less than 3-25% of milk-fat. (f) That it is desirable in the case of condensed whole milk to limit, and in the case of condensed machine-skimmed milk to exclude, the addition of sugar. (g) That the official standardizing of the measuring vessels commercially used in the testing of milk is desirable. In the minority report, signed by Mr Geo. Barham, the most important clauses are the following: (a) That in the case of any milk (other than skimmed, separated or condensed milk) the total milk-solids in which are less than 11.75%, and in which, during the months of July to February inclusive, the amount of milk-fat is less than 3%, and in the case of any milk which during the months of March to June inclusive shall fall below the above-named limit for total solids, and at the same time shall contain less than 2.75% of fat, it shall be deemed that such milk is so deficient in its normal constituent of fat as to raise a presumption, for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is not genuine. (b) That any milk (other than skimmed, separated or condensed milk) the total milk-solids in which are less than 11-75%, and in which the amount of non-fatty solids is less than 8-5%, shall be deemed to be so deficient in its normal constituents as to raise a presumption, for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is not genuine. In calculating the amount of the deficiency the analyst shall take into account the extent to which the milk-fat exceeds the limits above named. (c) That any skimmed or separated milk in which the total milk-solids are less than 8.75 % shall be deemed to be so deficient in its normal constituents as to raise a presumption, for the purpose of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is not genuine. Much controversy arose out of the publication of these reports, the opinion most freely expressed being that the standard recommended in the majority report was too high. The difficulty of the problem is illustrated by, for example, the diverse legal standards for milk that prevail in the United States, where the prescribed percentage of fat in fresh cows' milk ranges from 2.5 in Rhode Island to 3.5 in Georgia and Minnesota, and 3.7 (in the winter months) in Massachusetts, and the prescribed total solids range from 12 in several states (11.5 in Ohio during May and June) up to 13 in others. Standards are recognized in twenty-one of the states, but the remaining states have no laws prescribing standards for dairy products. That the public discussion of the reports of the committee was effective is shown by the following regulations which appeared in the London Gazette on the 6th of August 1901, and fixed the limit of fat at 3 %: The board of agriculture, in exercise of the powers conferred on them by section 4 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act 1899, do hereby make the following regulations: i. Where a sample of milk (not being milk sold as skimmed, or separated or condensed milk) contains less than 3 % of milk-fat, it shall be presumed for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is not genuine, by reason of the abstraction therefrom of milk-fat, or the addition thereto of water. 2. Where a sample of milk (not being milk sold as skimmed, or separated or condensed milk) contains less than 8.5 % of milk-solids other than milk-fat, it shall be presumed for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is not genuine, by reason of the abstraction there-from of milk-solids other than milk-fat, or the addition thereto of water. 3. Where a sample of skimmed or separated milk (not being condensed milk) contains less than 9% of milk-solids, it shall be presumed for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts 1875 to 1899, until the contrary is proved, that the milk is not genuine, by reason of the abstraction therefrom of milk-solids other than milk-fat, or the addition thereto of water. 4. These regulations shall extend to Great Britain. 5. These regulations shall come into operation on the 1st of September 190t. 6. These regulations may be cited as the Sale of Milk Regulations 1901. In July 1901 another departmental committee was appointed by the board of agriculture to inquire and report as to what regulations, if any, might with advantage be made under section 4 of the Sale of Food and Drugs Act 1899, for determining what deficiency in any of the normal constituents of butter, or what addition of extraneous matter, or proportion of water in any sample of butter should, for the purpose of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts, raise a presumption, until the contrary is proved, that the butter is not genuine. As bearing upon this point reference may be made to a report of the dairy division of the United States department of agriculture on experimental exports of butter, in the appendix to which are recorded the results of the analyses of many samples of butter of varied origin. First, as to American butters, 19 samples were analysed in Wisconsin, 17 in Iowa, 5 in Minnesota and 2 in Vermont, at the respective experiment stations of the states named. The amount of moisture throughout was low, and the quantity of fat correspondingly high. In no case was there more than 15 % of water, and only 4 samples contained more than 14%. On the other hand, 11 samples had less than. ro %, the lowest being a pasteurized butter from Ames, Iowa, with only 6.72% of water. The average amount of water in the total 43 samples was 11.24%. The fat varies almost inversely as the water, small quantities of curd and ash having to be allowed for. The largest quantity of fat was 91.23 % in the sample containing only 6.72 % of water. The lowest proportion of fat was 80.18 °/o, whilst the average of all the samples shows 85.9%, which is regarded as a good market standard. The curd varied from o•55 to 1.7 %, with an average of o•98. This small amount indicates superior keeping qualities. Theoretically there should be no curd present, but this degree of perfection is never attained in practice. It was desired to have the butter contain about 21% of salt, but the quantity of ash in the 43 samples ranged from o•83 to 4.79%, the average being 1.88. Analyses made at Washington of butters other than American showed a general average of 13.22% of water over 28 samples representing 14 countries. The lowest were 10.25% in a Canadian butter and Io•38 in an Australian sample. The highest was 19'1% in an Irish butter, which also contained the remarkably large quantity of 8.28% of salt. Three samples of Danish butter contained 12.65, 14.27 and 15.14% respectively of water. French and Italian unsalted butter included, the former 15.46 and the latter 14.41% of water, and yet appeared to be unusually dry. In 7 samples of Irish butters the percent-ages of water ranged from 11.48 to 19.1. Of the 28 foreign butters 15 were found to contain preservatives. All 5 samples from Australia, the 2 from France, the single ones from Italy, New Zealand, Argentina, and England, and 4 out of the 7 from Ireland, contained boric acid.
End of Article: ADULTERATION OF DAIRY PRODUCE
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