Recently a statement has been issued and circulated privately to interested parties by a Committee composed of the Food Manufacturers' Federation and a few Public Analysts, containing suggested standards for the composition of jams. The suggestions are that jams are to be divided into two grades, first quality and second quality respectively, each grade to contain generally a minimum amount of soluble solids, and fruit or fruits individually. Each grade is to include all varieties of jams, pure and mixed, with different fruit standards for each variety. At the same time particular attention is to be paid to correct labelling of each jam. The scheme is a step in the right direction, but it is open to severe criticism on several points on which many Public Analysts and local authorities will agree. The question of correct labelling will be satisfactory to all parties including the consuming public, but it is to be regretted that the suggestion is made that first quality jams may contain not only other added fruit juices, but also such substances as citric, tartaric and malic acids and pectin, without declaration. Second quality jams containing these or other substances must, on the other hand, have a label declaring the additions, therefore what possible objection can be raised to the declaration of added fruit juices, etc., in first quality jams, especially when it is claimed that any such addition is for the improvement of the consistency of the jams? The consuming public are certainly entitled to know the composition of the jam which they purchase—it is unlikely that objection would be taken to such jam if the procedure adopted was honestly and openly intimated to the purchaser, and a declaration of this nature, binding on all manufacturers, ought to be compulsory. As every housewife knows, good jams can be made without the addition of other fruit juices or pectin. Further, in the proposals issued there is no suggestion as to the amount of added substances which are to be permitted. Standards of such a nature constitute a severe and serious handicap to those manufacturers who produce what are after all the genuine and superior articles, namely, jams made by boiling fruit with sugar without additions of any kind whatever.
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