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TARTRATE-ALUM-ACID PHOSPHATE POWDER. 7466. Grand Union Baking Powder, made by the Grand Union Tea Co., Brooklyn, N. Y. Purchased from Grand Union Tea Co., Lewiston. In one pound tin. Price per can 50 cents. Cost per ounce 3 cents. The label states that the baking powder contains cream of tartar, acid phosphate, alum, starch and bicarbonate of soda. The acid salts are correctly named.

7468. I. C. Baking Powder, made by Jacques Mfg. Co., Chicago, New York and Kansas City. Purchased from C. H. Cloutier, Lewiston. In 10-ounce tin. Price per can 10 cents. Cost per ounce 0.9 cents. These are old goods and the dealer stated that he would procure the proper labels. A year ago the manufacturer said that the label now used stated that the powder consists of calcium acid phosphate and basic aluminum sulphate. In addition to alum and acid phosphate; the sample here examined carried tartaric acid.

SPICES. Spices are vegetable materials which depend for their use upon the pungency which they possess to give flavor or relish to food. As such they are of considerable importance dietetically, but from the fact that they are used in such small amounts, they have actually little nutritive value. Spices are, however, of great interest to the public because of all food materials, they are more susceptible than other classes to fraudulent adulteration of the more skilled variety. In many cases not only the general appearance and taste of the skillful adulterated article are made to counterfeit the genuine spices, but even the miscroscopical appearance is intended to deceive. It is very rare that the microscope fails to detect the presence of any foreign substance in spice and hence its use is indispensable and in some respects more important than chemistry in the examination of spices. In most cases, however, both the microscopical and chemical determinations are necessary that the information given by one method may supplement that of the other.

The two most important chemical determinations are ash and ether extract. The miscroscope will betray even the presence or traces of foreign substances and of course such traces are liable to be present in the most carefully manufactured goods. Most manufacturers use the same mill for grinding different


spices, hence in an imperfectly cleaned mill, a trace of the spice last ground is liable to be carried to that which is being ground. The mechanical purification of the spices before they are ground, frequently presents such difficulties that even the unground spices are not strictly pure.

The samples of spices collected by the Station inspector, have been subjected to both chemical and miscroscopical examination. For the very full and careful microscopical examination, we are indebted to the experts of the Bureau of Chemistry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture at Washington. The chemical examinations were made in the Station laboratory.

Probably in no class of products is there greater variation in quality, than in commercial spices. A spice may be perfectly pure, so far as freedom froin adulteration is concerned, and still be markedly inferior in quality. Furthermore the age of a spice and particularly the length of time that it has been powdered and the kind of a package in which it has been kept has much to do with the strength of spices. On reference to the standards adopted for Maine * the wide latitude that has to be given in composition even to pure spices is indicated.

The best way for the retailer to insure good quality is to buy of firms who purchase only the best grades of whole spices and powder them in their own mills. The consumer is best protected by buying the best from reliable retailers. The price paid per pound will usually be a guide to quality. A specially low priced spice must of necessity be either inferior in quality or adulterated.

A discussion of the different kinds of spices examined showing the results of the chemical and microscopical examinations follow.

ALLSPICE OR PIMENTO. Allspice is the dried fruit of Eugenia pimenta, an evergreen tree belonging to the same family as the clove. It is indigenous in the West Indies and is especially cultivated in Jamaica. The berries are grayish or reddish brown in color; they are gathered when they have attained their largest size, but before becoming fully ripe. Though considerably less pungent than other spices, it possesses an aroma not unlike cloves and cassia.

Bulletin 135, Maine Agricultural Experiment Station, pages 241-243.

While the samples of pimento differed very materially in quality, all of the samples but one were genuine. The Golden Crown allspice (No. 7196), made by the Boston Supply Co., was largely adulterated with what seems to be under the microscope roasted pea flour. It is possible that the trace of red pepper found was added to this sample, as well as that of No. 7202, for the purpose of giving apparent strength. The excessive amount of starch and the low ether extract in sample No. 7196 are explained by the addition of the roasted pea flour.

The analysis of the different brands of allspice are given on pages 262-263

CASSIA AND CINNAMON. The names cassia and cinnamon are used interchangeably in commerce though strictly speaking they represent two distinct species of a genus belonging to the laurel family. In the food standards, little attempt is made to distinguish between cassia and cinnamon. The best quality of cinnamon is the bark of Cinnamonum zeylanicum, a tree from 20 to 30 feet high, native to the island of Ceylon, cultivated in some parts of tropical Asia, Sumatra, and Java. The entire yield of pure Ceylon cinnamon is extremely small and but little of it comes to America. The cheaper and more common cassia is the bark of Cinnamonum cassia which comes from China and India. It is darker in color than true cinnamon bark, of coarser texture and thicker. Both cinnamon and cassia barks are very aromatic in taste, somewhat astringent and slightly sweet.

Cassia buds are the dry flour buds of China cassia and are in the market both in whole and powder form. The powdered cassia or cinnamon of commerce consists of a mixture of several varieties of bark, and the cheaper grades contain an admixture of the ground buds.

The samples examined were genuine, with the exception that some of them contained traces of foreign matter, either wood tissue or of some other spice. These traces are probably accidental and not purposely added. There was, however, a great difference in the pungency of the different samples, which is due either to the quality of the whole cinnamon used, or to the length of time since grinding.

The analysis of the different brands of cinnamon are given on pages 262-265.

CLOVES. Cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree Caryophyllus aromatious, which belongs to the Myrtle family, as also does the Allspice. The tree is an evergreen from 20 to 40 feet in height, and is cultivated extensively in Brazil, the West Indies, India and Zanzibar. The green buds in the process of growth, change to a reddish color, at which stage they are removed from the tree, spread out in the sun and allowed to dry, the color changing to the familiar deep brown of the cloves of commerce. One of the most valuable ingredients of the clove is the volatile clove oil. The ground cloves of commerce are liable to be deficient in clove oil because when exposed to the air, it gradually disappears. As there is a great demand for oil of cloves, it gives the temptation to partially extract the oil from the ground cloves of commerce. Furthermore, as there will always be more or less of the stems with the clove buds even pure ground cloves will frequently contain some of the stem. In most of the samples here examined, clove stems were present from traces to a large amount. Only in two samples, Nos. 7215 and 7217 did there seem to be a particularly unusual large amount of clove stems. Other than clove stems, no adulterant was found in the cloves examined. The different samples, however, differ considerably in quality, which may have been due to age or partial exhaustion of the cloves.

The analysis of the different brands of ground cloves examined are given on pages 264-267.


Ginger is the washed and dried, or decorticated (scraped) and dried root stalk of Zinciber singiber, an annual herb growing to a height of from 3 to 4 feet. It is a native of India and China, but is quite extensively cultivated in tropical America, Africa and Australia. The root is dug when the plant is a year old and when the stem has withered. If when freshly dug and scalded to prevent sprouting, it is dried at once, it forms the so-called black ginger of commerce. When decorticated it furnishes what is known in commerce as white ginger. The best variety of white ginger is Jamaica ginger. The scraped root is sometimes bleached to make it still whiter, or may be sprinkled with carbonate of lime. The light colored decorticated ginger is usually selected for grinding.

There are two kinds of exhausted ginger commercially available for admixture as an adulterant. One is the product left after the extraction with strong alcohol, in the making of extract of Jamaica ginger; and the other the residue from extraction with either dilute alcohol or with water in the manufacture of ginger ale. It is rarely substituted wholly for the pure variety because the lack of pungency would make the adulteration too evident. It is used to mix with unexhaused ginger in varying proportions, and is also used as an adulterant for other spices. It is to its volatile oil that ginger is indebted for most of its aromatic qualities. So far as ginger was concerned, all of the samples examined were genuine, but a number of the samples, notably Nos. 7165, 7170, 7171, 7173 and 7174 were weak to the taste as if exhausted ginger had been added. This, however, may have been due to the long keeping of the ground goods in paper.

The analysis of the different brands of ground ginger examined are given on pages 266-269.

MACE. Both nutmeg and mace occur in the fruit of several varieties of myrtle trees. The nutmeg tree is a native of the Malay Archipelago and grows from 20 to 30 feet high, somewhat resembling an orange tree in appearance. The crimson colored aril that surrounds the nutmeg kernel has many narrow flattened lobes. In the process of drying to form the mace of commerce, it loses its brilliant red color and turns a yellowish

wn. Bombay mace is almost devoid of odor and even though it is a variety of mace, should be considered as an adulterant from its lack of pungency. Because of the high price of mace, there is particular temptation for adulterating it. Five of the samples of mace examined were strictly pure. Three contained traces of ginger. One was adulterated with corn meal, and two adulterated with Bombay mace. Where a large amount of Bombay mace was used, nutmeg was added to bring up the flavor. In purchasing ground mace, care should be taken to purchase that from reputable spice mills.

The analyses of the different brands of powdered mace examined are given on pages 268-269.

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