Online Encyclopedia

MARGARINE

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 704 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARGARINE, the name, first given by Chevreul, to an artificial substitute for butter, made from beef and other animalfats, and sometimes mixed with real butter. The name of " butterine " has also been used. Artificial butter, or " margarine-mouries," was for some years manufactured in Paris according to a method made public by the eminent chemist Mege-Mouries. Having surmised that the formation of butter contained in milk was due to the absorption of fat contained in the animal tissues, he was led to experiment on the splitting up of animal fat. The process he ultimately adopted consisted in heating finely minced beef suet with water, carbonate of potash, and fresh sheep's stomach cut up into small fragments. The mixture he raised to a temperature of 450 C. (113° F.). The influence of the pepsine of the sheep's stomach with the heat separated the fat from the cellular tissue; he removed the fatty matter, and submitted it when cool to powerful hydraulic pressure, separating it into stearin and oleomargarin, which last alone he used for butter-making. Of this fat about the proportions of ro lb with 4 pints of milk, and 3 pints of water were placed in a churn, to which a small quantity of anatto was added for colouring, and the whole churned together. The compound so obtained when well washed was in general appearance, taste and consistency like ordinary butter, and when well freed from water it was found to keep a longer time. Margarine is a perfectly wholesome butter-substitute, and is now largely used, but the ease with which it may be passed off as real butter has led to much discussion and legislative action. (See ADULTERATION.)
End of Article: MARGARINE
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