To read this content please select one of the options below:

British Food Journal Volume 33 Issue 10 1931

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 October 1931



The preliminary figures for the production of fruit in the United States of America for the year 1930 issued by the Department of Commerce, Washington, are as follows:—Apples, 163,543,000 bushel; grapes, 2,368,557 tons; peaches, 53,286,000 bushel; pears, 25,703,000 bushel; strawberries, 59,996,000 quarts; cranberries, 570,000 barrels. Assuming the bushel to be equal to fifty pounds weight (Av.), the weights of apples, peaches and pears produced are 3,650,000 tons, 1,189,000 tons, 574,000 tons respectively. The Department of Commerce has no means of intimating the proportions of fruits used for the raw, canning and preserve markets. The production of canned fruits is, however, high in the United States, a much larger proportion of the total crop of fruit being used for this purpose than is the case in this country. In the United States the fruit that is preserved is marketed either as jam, the fruit for this purpose being more or less in the form of pulp; or as preserved fruit when the fruit is whole or unbroken; or as fruit butter, which is fruit juice and fruit pulp evaporated till they form a semi‐solid homogeneous mass with or without the addition of sugar, spices, or vinegar; or as fruit jelly, which is the juice or water extract of fruit concentrated to a suitable consistency with the addition of sugar. In 1929, according to the Bureau of Census figures, the total value of the four products above named amounted to $44,073,809, or in round figures about £9,000,000. It appears that some two hundred firms are mainly engaged in the manufacture of these, a small and unknown amount being made as a kind of side line by certain wholesale grocers. It may be observed that (1) the fruit used is home grown; (2) the product, whether it be preserved fruit, jam, fruit butter or fruit jelly, has to be made in accordance with Federal or State definitions of these products; (3) the label on the pot or tin must truly describe the contents as to nature, quality and quantity; (4) that misleading statements or designs on such labels are forbidden by law. At the request of the National Preservers' Association the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce recently completed a survey of the preserving industry. The results are incomplete, as many firms did not make returns, but the figures obtained would appear to cover about 40 per cent. of those relating to the industry for the year 1929. These figures are at least useful for comparative purposes, and multiplication by 2½ is probably justifiable under the circumstances as affording some guide to the total amount. Thus the actual figures obtained by the Department for production by “major classification” are as follows:—Preserves and jams, 62,490,389 lbs.; jellies, 32,301,654 lbs.; fruit butters, 40,019,560 lbs.; citrus marmalade, 1,849,104 lbs. Total, 136,660,707 lbs. This total when multiplied by 2½ shows that something over 150,000 tons, of 2,240 lbs. to the ton, of the products mentioned above were made in 1929. If the population of the United States be 125 millions, it is certainly near that figure, the output is low compared with the output in this country; for preserves and jams very low. The deficiency in this item is offset by the high percentage compared with our figures of fruit jelly (235), and of fruit butters (30) produced. Much fruit grown in the United States is, however, absorbed by the canning industry which has been long established and has reached enormous dimensions; and also in the production of fruit juices as beverages. Again, anything but a numerical comparison, even if that be directly permissible, is to our disadvantage. For while the fruit grower in the United States finds a ready market for his crops in the markets for jam and its associated products, our fruit growers would seem to receive no such measure of encouragement from our jam makers, who purchase large quantities of cheap imported fruit pulp of questionable wholesomeness in many cases. As to the quality of the material it is safe to say that much of the jam made in the country at the present time would be refused entry into the United States. As to the kind of jam and preserve made in the United States, there are three kinds: Standard, Compound, and Imitation. In round figures 75 per cent. of the jam is of standard grade, 19 per cent. is compound, and 6 per cent. imitation. For jellies the figures are: 45·45 per cent. standard, 27 per cent. pectin and apple base, imitation 27 per cent. As to the kinds of fruit used in making jam, strawberry jam heads the list with 39 per cent. of the total; raspberry with 19 per cent. No other percentages run into double figures. The next highest is peach 8·74 per cent., the lowest is gooseberry 0·13 per cent. 78·5 per cent. by weight of the strawberry jam is of standard quality, 19 per cent. compound, 2·3 imitation; 75·5 per cent. of the raspberry jam is standard, 21 per cent. compound, 1·6 imitation. The average invoice values of these jams are as follows:—Standard strawberry jam, 17.64 cents per lb., say 9d. per lb.; compound strawberry, 7d.; imitation strawberry, 5d. The corresponding figures for raspberry being 7½d., 6½d., 5¼d. These figures being about the average invoice prices for all kinds of jams of the three qualities named. From these figures it would appear that it is possible in the United States to market strawberry and raspberry jam of a nature conforming to Dr. Johnson's definition at a fairly low price. In the United States of America there are two laws which govern the purity of the food supply. One is the Federal Law of 30th June, 1906. The Federal Law applies to the Federal District of Columbia and to Inter‐State Commerce, that is to say to goods which may be sent from one State of the Union to another State of the Union. The other laws are the State laws which have been passed by the legislatures of the various States. Before these laws were passed, manufacturers of adulterated food products were at liberty to make and sell such products in their State. These State laws are applicable only to the particular States for which they have been passed. As a general rule they are founded on the Federal Law or follow the wording of this law closely as a matter of expediency, but the various States responsible for these enactments are not bound in any way by the wording of the Federal enactments. The State Laws, however, are complementary to the Federal Law. The power of a State to protect itself against the ill‐effects of unsatisfactory food products manufactured in another and imported within its boundaries is extremely limited. This is a matter for the Federal authorities in the enforcement of the Federal Law. On the other hand the Federal Law has no power over goods manufactured in any given State for sale in that State. It is only when such goods pass from one State to another and thus become part of Inter‐State Commerce that the Federal Law has authority. Nevertheless the Federal and State officials are in close co‐operation, and a network of protective legislation covers the United States, and the laws and regulations are administered by keen and experienced legal and technical officers.


(1931), "British Food Journal Volume 33 Issue 10 1931", British Food Journal, Vol. 33 No. 10, pp. 91-100.




Copyright © 1931, MCB UP Limited

Related articles