A large part of the report of the Food Investigation Board for 1927 (H.M. Stationery Office, 4s. net) is devoted to describing the various directions in which fundamental problems are being studied scientifically, with the assurance that the results will furnish a surer basis for practice than any that could be obtained by methods other than scientific. Side by side with the laboratory experiments by which the fundamental properties of the materials under investigation are to be worked out, considerable advance is being made in the study of the problems in question on a larger scale. While in practice hundreds of tons of fruit are stored in ships' holds and commercial stores, it has not been possible hitherto to study storage problems in lots larger than a few hundredweights. The gap between experiment and practice, as the report points out, has been found too great. The difficulties introduced into storage by the element of scale are increased greatly when the materials stored, such as fruit, are self‐heating, and from small‐scale experiments little better than guesses could be made at the solution of the problems to be investigated. A research station is therefore being erected at East Malling to enable the storage of fruit to be studied scientifically on a semi‐commercial scale, and its equipment will include an experimental store capable of holding 100 tons of fruit. The station is being built next to the East Malling Horticultural Research Station, where for some years past successful work has been in progress upon the effect of grafting on the properties of pure strains of apples. The new station will now enable the influence of the stock on storage properties to be studied, and, taken in conjunction with earlier investigations of the Board on the effect of soil, climate and variety upon the keeping properties of apples, will furnish data not hitherto available as to the influence of stock, and complete a chapter in vegetable physiology of unusual scientific interest and commercial importance. Unfortunately, the necessary facilities have not yet been obtained for carrying out adequate work on the preservation of fish, and the Board, being unwilling to undertake investigations that were bound to be inadequate, has dissolved the Fish Preservation Committee. When the value and potential cheapness of fish as a food are remembered, it is much to be hoped that this unsatisfactory state of things will not be allowed to continue. In the meantime, the Board has set up a Food transport and Distribution Committee with the object of discovering whether and how scientific knowledge and inquiry can help to lessen waste, improve quality and utilise by‐products. The first subject the Committee took up was the transport of fish, and through experiments carried out at sea in an Aberdeen steam trawler reason has been found to think that the use of mechanical refrigeration might improve the value of the catch to an economic extent. Biological work carried on at the same time in the University of Aberdeen confirmed this conclusion, and it was decided that full‐size experiments and investigations in steam trawlers should be made from Aberdeen and Milford Haven in the spring and summer of this year.
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1929, MCB UP Limited