Dealing with the subject of the artificial bleaching of flour, The Lancet observes that the public criterion of quality in respect of foods and beverages shows some interesting anomalies. Appreciation is often based, for example, on appearance, on how things look, and it is in this direction that conclusions often and obviously become illogical. In some instances the article demanded must be spotlessly white, while in others, if naturally white, it must be artificially coloured. The white loaf is a popular fancy, but white milk is suspected, and yet natural flour may be of a rich golden colour, while rich milk may have only a shade of brownish colour which is supposed to connote cream. The result is that in the one case flour is often deprived of its colour by a process of chemical bleaching, and that in the other an artificial colouring is added. Natural colour is objected to on the one hand, and on the other an artificial addition is demanded. It may be urged that both expedients are justifiable inasmuch as they meet a popular fancy, and that this counts in the enjoyment and even digestibility of the foods. If artificial means are employed to adjust the appearance of food to a popular standard, the proceeding can clearly only be allowed when it has been proved beyond all doubt that the products are not dietetically impaired or that they do not masquerade as something which they are not.
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