British Food Journal Volume 33 Issue 6 1931
Article publication date: 1 June 1931
In his letter which appeared in the April number of this Journal, Mr. Edward Hinks, B.Sc., F.I.C., criticises our remarks on the jam standards set up by the Food Manufacturers Federation in conjunction with the Society of Public Analysts and Other Analytical Chemists, and the tone of his letter seems to indicate that he has not appreciated the position we take with regard to standards, a position which is consistent with the policy we have always followed, namely, to deprecate the making of a standard which lowers or tends to lower the quality of any product, and especially to deprecate it when the label does not adequately disclose any additions which have been made to the article in question. Whatever Dr. Johnson may have thought about jam in 1755, his definition undoubtedly agrees with what the British public considers jam should be to‐day, and that is, that it should be made from the fruit from which the jam derives its name and sugar—and nothing else.— It is hardly necessary to add that beet sugar—sucrose derived from beet, could be used as well as cane sugar —sucrose derived from cane.—Any extraneous addition should be properly described on the label. With regard to the standards which have been put forward by the Jam Section of the Food Manufacturers Federation in consort with the Society of Public Analysts and Other Analytical Chemists, we certainly take exception to the proportion of fruit permitted, which in many cases is so low, that pectin, derived from apple or some other source, has to be added to make a jam of saleable consistency. This addition means a shorter boil and a lower fruit content, a distinct gain to the manufacturer in the cheapening of the production of his article. How it can be contended that the public will get a good article if the manufacturers make jam according to these standards we cannot understand. In our opinion the public will get a poor jam, and may and probably will, in fact purchase a product containing added fruit juices, citric and tartaric acids and foreign colouring matter, and further they will have no opportunity of learning that these additions have been made, because no declaration need be made on the label. On the contrary such jam may be labelled “Full Fruit Standard.” Why no disclosure is to be made of such additions to First Quality Jam while the disclosure of the presence of added fruit juice is insisted on in Second Quality Jam—which doubtless no manufacturer will be too anxious to make —is difficult to understand. It appears to us that the Federation has had its own way too much in the fixing of these standards and that in its anxiety to reach agreement the Society of Public Analysts and Other Analytical Chemists, or its representative committee has allowed itself to be led much too easily. Again the country of origin of the fruit may perhaps not be regarded as relevant but what an excellent thing it would have been to have insisted that first quality jam should be made from home‐grown fruit. It is true that analysis cannot prove the country of origin of the fruit any more than, with our present knowledge, it can show that any jam contains for instance 42 per cent. of a particular fruit, but on the other hand there are methods of ascertaining whether imported fruit is used in a jam factory. As to the spirit in which we approach this matter we have felt it our duty to criticise, somewhat severely, standards which as it seems to us, give to a certain class of manufacturer permission to do the very thing he wants to do in the way of making extraneous additions to jams without imposing the necessity of declaration on the label. Such standards accordingly afford practically no protection to the unfortunate public, but tend ultimately to lower the general quality of the jam made in this country.
(1931), "British Food Journal Volume 33 Issue 6 1931", British Food Journal, Vol. 33 No. 6, pp. 51-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb011235
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