It would be difficult to find, especially during the summer months, a more popular confection than “ices,” or one which, when properly made, is more harmless or wholesome. They are universally liked by the young and old of all classes everywhere, and are in demand on all and every occasion. The volume of trade done in this commodity from the barrows of itinerant street vendors and from confectioners' shops is enormous. The process of manufacture is comparatively simple and in a small way requires little outlay for appliances or materials, consequently it appeals to the vendor with little capital, and the sales generally provide a fair margin of profit. Competition in the trade is keen. The price of the article is as low as can be consistent with the use of sound ingredients, and the desire to maintain profits has caused the cheapest possible materials to be used for the manufacture, resulting in many different qualities being sold. The general descriptions of the goods very rarely convey much information as to the nature of the materials used in their composition. An inspection of the labels displayed on vendors' barrows and in shops indicates that there are ices, ice‐creams, cream‐ices and creamy‐ices, the names being sometimes enriched with a qualifying description suggesting the addition of some flavouring agent. The names appear to be very loosely and irregularly applied to a variety of frozen products which may vary from sweetened water to sweetened cream, with many intermediate qualities. A search amongst the standard recipes for making ices discloses the fact that most of them are frozen custards which should be made from sweetened milk thickened with starch or eggs, with or without the addition of cream. The idea conveyed to the more intelligent and discriminating consumer when the term “cream” forms part of the description is that a certain proportion of that substance is employed in the composition of the ices, but there are others who are indifferent to the quality or composition so long as the product is ice‐cold, sweet and palatable. If made without cream they are masquerading under false names as “ice‐creams” or “cream‐ices,” and to be correct should be termed plain “ices.” Unfortunately this is only one case amongst many in this country where legal standards are necessary but lacking. When a vendor sells as “ice‐cream” something devoid of cream he commits an offence which should be treated in the same manner as other forms of adulteration. The American Government require ice‐cream to contain not less than 14 per cent. of milk‐fat, and the Canadian Government require a standard of not less than 7 per cent. of milk‐fat. In samples recently examined by the writer and submitted as “ice‐cream,” the fat varied from 1·5 to 7·5 per cent., and in only one instance could it be definitely shown that cream was present. The others were made from milk, and the fat varied with the proportion of milk present. If proceedings had been instituted under the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts in some of these cases it is doubtful if convictions could have been obtained, and failing conviction it would have probably been costly for the local authority concerned.
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