Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/642

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624
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

of preserving all the nourishing qualities of the substances and their taste unimpaired. The use of glass and earthen ware jars instead of tin cans is familiar.

A method has been patented in England for preserving meat in gross. The beast is killed, and, after all the blood has run out, is at once skinned and disemboweled. It is then dipped entire into a mixture of 72 per cent alcohol and one per cent of carbolic acid, and after it has dried is laid in a concentrated alcoholic solution of sugar. It is then cut up and packed in casks which are afterward filled with melted fat.

By another English patented process the meat is soaked during from twenty-four to thirty-six hours in a solution of 150 grammes of boric acid, 300 grammes of borax, 155 grammes of common salt, and 53 grammes of saltpeter, which had been previously dissolved in two litres of water, after which it is packed in casks. A practicable method of preparing meat for long transportation is to expose it to a current of refrigerated air till it is stiffened, then sprinkle powdered borax upon it, and put it in a refrigerator-car.

Herr F. Wickerskeimer's process employs a solution of 36 grammes of potash, 15 grammes of common salt, and 6 grammes of alum, with three litres of water, which is heated to 122° and added to a second solution of 9 grammes of salicylic acid, 45 grammes of methyl alcohol, and 250 grammes of glycerine; and with this the whole animal is charged.

Kauffmann's method of preparation has been tried in household practice, with satisfaction. The top of a cask is removed carefully so that it can be tightly fitted in again, and a pan of sulphur is put in the bottom of the barrel and set fire to. The top, to which the meat has been hung, is then fitted in. By repeating the fumigation often enough, meat can be kept for a long time even in the summer, without ice, and without imbibing the odor or taste of the sulphur.

The exclusion of the air is sought in the canning processes. The real object is to exclude the germs of decay that are brought in with the air. The same purpose may be effected by filtering the air. To do this, a thickness of cotton between two pieces of linen may be put over the mouth of the jar. The vessel with its contents having been heated to expel the air within, the air that returns upon cooling deposits its germs upon the cotton in passing through it. The vessel may then be tightly closed with parchment-paper.

Among other methods of preserving foods are the familiar ones with sugar, salt, saltpeter, and vinegar. The first three substances act by withdrawing water from the conserves and leaving in place of it their own concentrated solutions, which are unfavorable to the development of germs. To obtain a perfect preservation, the solutions should be in a state of very great concentration and should surround the food-matter on every side. The sugar-process is expensive on ac-