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British Food Journal Volume 36 Issue 11 1934

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Publication date: 1 November 1934


During the year the appointments of 32 Public Analysts were approved. The number of samples of food analysed by Public Analysts during the year 1933 was 138, 171, a slight increase over the number reported in the previous year. 7,601 samples were reported as adulterated or not up to standard. The percentage adulterated or below standard was 5·5. In the two previous years the percentages were 5·1 and 4·6 respectively, the latter being the lowest recorded. There were 380 infringements of the Public Health (Preservatives, &c., in Food) Regulations, a considerable reduction as compared with the number reported in any previous year. In 138 instances the food contained preservatives prohibited by the regulations, e.g., boron preservative in cream, sausages, meat pies, rennet and other articles; sulphur dioxide in sweets, minced, potted and other meat, desiccated soup, pepper, vinegar and table jelly; formaldehyde in milk; salicylic acid in lime juice and non‐alcoholic wine; and benzoic acid in caviare. Preservative in excess of the permissible amount was reported in 81 instances, including samples of sausages, jam, dried fruit, orange and lemon squashes, lemon juice, and non‐alcoholic wine and beer, while a preservative powder labelled as containing 12 per cent. of sulphur dioxide contained more than that amount. In 160 samples the preservative would have been permissible if its presence had been declared on the label. The number of samples of milk analysed was 74,545, of which 5,760 (or 7·7 per cent.) were reported to be adulterated or not up to standard. Soma local authorities also arrange for the informal testing of samples by their officers, but particulars of these are not available. 1,068 “appeal to cow” samples, i.e., samples taken at the time of milking, were analysed and 380, or 35·6 per cent., were reported to be below the presumptive standard of the Sale of Milk Regulations, 1901. Excluding “appeal to cow” samples, the number analysed and the percentage adulterated or below standard were, respectively, 73,477 and 7·3. The vendor of a sample which was reported to be 23 per cent. deficient in milk fat and to be coloured with annatto was prosecuted and fined 3 guineas and 1 guinea costs. There were 8 other cases in which added colouring matter was reported, and in several instances the vendors were convicted and fined. The presence of visible dirt was reported in 8 samples and of formaldehyde in 6 samples. Another sample was found to contain 1·79 grains per gallon of sulphur dioxide. 24 samples of graded milk were stated to be deficient in milk fat, the amount of the deficiency in one case being as much as 48 per cent., and 20 samples of skimmed milk were reported as deficient in non‐fatty solids, one being stated to contain 79 per cent. of added water. 1,171 samples of condensed milk were analysed, of which 24 were reported against. 16 contained the equivalent of less milk than indicated on the label, 5 were deficient in milk solids, 2 were unsound and unfit for consumption, and 1 contained 125 parts per million of tin. The number of samples of dried milk analysed was 207, and 8 were reported against. Two were deficient in milk fat, 3 which were sold as full cream milk should have been sold as skimmed milk, 1 was unlabelled, 1 contained the equivalent of less milk than indicated on the label and the remaining sample was not dried milk within the meaning of the Public Health (Dried Milk) Regulations. The number of samples of cream reported upon was 2,171, and in 59 cases adverse reports were given. Eighteen contained boron preservative, 11 sold as cream were reconstituted or artificial cream, 9 were deficient in milk solids, and 3 were reported against because of the presence of fat not derived from milk. Fifteen samples, some of tinned cream, were deficient in milk fat. One sample of tinned cream labelled as “a highly concentrated and rich cream” contained only 24 per cent. of fat, and 2 samples of tinned sterilised cream labelled “Pure Rich English Clotted Cream” contained only 25 per cent. of fat. The Analyst stated that a “cream containing only this amount of fat can hardly be described as ‘rich,’ since ordinary fresh cream contains on an average about 50 per cent. of fat. Clotted cream is manufactured by a special process and usually contains about 60 per cent. of fat.” Out of 8,903 samples of butter reported upon, 83 were stated to be adulterated or below standard. 67 contained water in excess of the legal maximum of 16 per cent., the vendor of a sample containing 36·5 per cent. of water being prosecuted and fined £2. Three samples contained excess free fatty acid, 12 consisted wholly or partly of margarine, and the remaining sample contained boron preservative. 3,180 samples of margarine were analysed, and the number reported against was 16; 2 contained milk fat in excess of the legal maximum of 10 per cent., 1 sold in error consisted wholly of butter, 10 were found to contain water in excess of the legal maximum of 16 per cent., and 3 were unsatisfactory both on the latter ground and because of not being properly labelled. The number of samples of lard reported upon was 2,688, only 3 adversely. Two consisted wholly of substitute fat and the third contained cotton seed oil. 414 samples of suet were analysed; 38 samples, of which 33 were “shredded” suet, contained an excess of rice flour or other starch. Out of 578 samples of dripping, 7 were reported upon adversely, 2 as consisting entirely of hog fat, 4 as containing excess water or excess free fatty acid, and one as being rancid and unfit for human consumption. The number of samples examined was 1,392, 5 sold as “Cheshire Cheese” were deficient in fat, the deficiency in one case being 53 per cent., 6 samples wrapped in tinfoil contained excess tin amounting in one case to 7·2 grains per lb., and 3 sold as cream cheese were made from whole or separated milk. 273 samples of bread were analysed; 4 were affected with “ropiness,” and one sample, submitted for analysis by a private purchaser, was reported to contain powdered glass. Investigation failed, however, to discover the source of the adulterant. The number of samples of flour analysed was 1,370, of which only 2 were reported against. One contained about 2 per cent. of soap flakes, presumably due to accident, and one sample of self‐raising flour contained an excess of bicarbonate of soda. 1,773 samples were analysed and 124 or 7 per cent. were found to be adulterated or below standard, a considerable increase on the proportion reported against in any previous year. The majority of these were deficient in the fruit specified on the label or contained other fruit, 25 contained preservative in excess of the amount permitted, while 5 were deficient in fruit and also contained more than the permitted amount of preservative. One sample contained a considerable amount of fungus. Proceedings were successfully taken in several cases and penalties were imposed. The samples reported upon numbered 1,746, of which 135 were stated to be adulterated or below standard. 9S were deficient in acetic acid, and 34, described as malt or table vinegar, consisted wholly or partly of artificial vinegar. Three samples contained prohibited preservative. In a number of cases proceedings were successfully taken and penalties imposed. The vendor of a sample sold as malt vinegar, which was wholly artificial vinegar, was fined three guineas and one guinea costs, and a similar penalty was imposed on a vendor of artificial vinegar found to be 72 per cent. deficient in acetic acid. The number of samples of spirits analysed was 1,947, of which 132 were reported against because the spirit had been reduced more than 35 degrees under proof. Of the samples reported against 85 were whisky, 26 rum, 14 gin and 7 brandy. Out of 420 samples of beer, 3 were adversely reported upon, one as containing phenolic disinfectant, one as being a non‐alcoholic imitation, and the third as containing more than the permitted amount of preservative.


(1934), "British Food Journal Volume 36 Issue 11 1934", British Food Journal, Vol. 36 No. 11, pp. 101-110.




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