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Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 6 in contrast to the bright-red color of sample No. 2 is undoubtedly due to the action upon the hemoglobin of the considerable amount of nitrites present. The pitted condition of the sausage is probably due to the action of the nitric oxid formed, in its effort to escape. Samples Nos. 5 and 6 gave a slight odor of nitrogen dioxid. Practical curers of meat find that when an excessive amount of saltpeter is used in the dry curing of meat the lean portion turns a darkbrown color. Where excessive amounts of saltpeter are used in the curing of beef hams in tierces it has often been noticed by the cellar men that on opening such a package a distinct and often very strong odor of gas was present. The writer has examined numerous tierces of beef hams and samples of sausage in which excessive amounts of saltpeter had been used, and has found the characteristic odor of nitrogen dioxid, and has also been able to identify this gas positively. The nitrogen dioxid undoubtedly results from the oxidation of the nitric oxid formed by the reduction of the nitrites.
In conclusion, the writer's thanks are extended to Dr. S. E. Bennett, inspector in charge of the Federal meat inspection at Chicago, for many helpful suggestions in carrying out the investigations reported in this paper.
The action of saltpeter as an agent in influencing the color of salted meat may be summarized as follows:
1. The red color of uncooked salted meat to which saltpeter has been added as a preservative agent is due to the presence of NO hemoglobin.
2. The NO hemoglobin is formed by the action of nitric oxid on hemoglobin.
3. The nitric oxid is formed by the reduction of the nitrites within the meat.
4. Saltpeter is reduced within the meat to nitrites, the reduction taking place equally well in either an acid or an alkaline medium.
5. Saltpeter as such has no action as a flesh-color preservative. 6. Nitrites as such have no action in preserving the natural color of meat.
7. The brown color produced in meats cured with an excessive amount of saltpeter is due to the action of nitrites upon the hemoglobin.
1. MITCHELL, C. AINSWORTH.
Flesh foods, with methods for their chemical, *. London, 1900.
microscopical and bacteriological examination
2. OSTERTAG, ROBERT. Handbook of meat inspection. Translated by E. V. Wilcox. New York, 1904. See pp. 791, 803.
3. HALDANE, JOHN. The red colour of salted meat. Journal of Hygiene, vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 115–122. Cambridge, Eng., Jan., 1901.
4. HERMANN, LUDIMAR. Ueber die Wirkungen des Stickstoffoxydgases auf das Blut. Archiv für Anatomie, Physiologie und Wissenschaftliche Medicin,. Jahrg. 1865, pp. 469-481. Leipzig, 1865.
5. See citation 3, p. 119.
6. Watts' dictionary of chemistry. New York and London, 1906. See vol. 2, p. 662.
7. WOOD, HORATIO C. Therapeutics: Its principles and practice. Philadelphia, 1906. See p. 256.
8. ABELOUS, J. EMILE, and GÉRARD, E. Sur la présence, dans l'organisme animal, d'un ferment soluble réducteur. Pouvoir réducteur des extraits d'organes. Comptes Rendus Académie des Sciences, Tome 129, No. 3, pp. 164-166. Paris, July 17, 1899.
9. POLENSKE, EDUARD. Ueber den Verlust, welchen das Rindfleisch und Nährwerth durch das Pökeln erleidet, sowie über die Veränderungen salpeterhaltiger Pökellaken. Arbeiten aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte, Band 7, Heft 2-3, pp. 471-474. Berlin, 1891.
10. Ueber das Pökeln von Fleisch in salpeterhaltigen Laken. Arbeiten aus dem Kaiserlichen Gesundheitsamte, Band 9, Heft 1, pp. 126–135. Berlin, 1893.
NOTES ON THE ANIMAL INDUSTRY OF ARGENTINA.
By GEORGE M. ROMMEL,
Animal Husbandman, Bureau of Animal Industry.
An appointment as one of the delegates of the United States to the First Pan-American Scientific Congress, held at Santiago, Chile, December 25, 1908, to January 5, 1909, gave the writer an opportunity to spend a few weeks in Argentina, to see something of the animal industry of the country, and to become acquainted with a few of the leading breeders. On account of the immensity of the country and the great distances to be traveled, a complete stranger can no more gain a really comprehensive idea of the live-stock business in the Argentine Republic in six weeks than he could of that of the United States in the same time. Argentina is not so large in area as the United States, but travel by rail is not nearly so rapid, nor is the country so well provided with rail communications. When one considers that Argentina has an area of over 1,000,000 square miles, on which there is a population of probably not more than 6,000,000 persons, over 1,000,000 of whom live in the capital city, one can appreciate somewhat how little the interior of the country has been developed.
Buenos Aires may be reached in about twenty-five days from New York direct, or in twenty-eight or thirty days via Southampton or Cherbourg. If the traveler is pressed for time, he will find the direct route available twice a month; if comfort en route is a consideration, the journey via Europe is preferable and weekly sailings are available. There is no great difference in cost between the two routes, the direct one being somewhat cheaper unless the exclusive 'use of a stateroom is engaged. The writer sailed from New York on October 7, 1908, going via England and arriving at Buenos Aires on November 7, exactly one month from the day of sailing.
THE MEAT TRADE OF ARGENTINA WITH ENGLAND.
Everyone knows in a more or less hazy fashion that Argentina is a great factor in the meat trade of Great Britain; few persons realize, however, the tremendous growth of the industry and especially the increase in the shipments of refrigerated (chilled) beef to England from the River Plate ports, all of which, the writer believes, comes from Argentina. This business is the result of only eight years' growth.
Prior to 1901 all the beef exported was frozen, and the real development of the frozen beef trade began only a year or two before. In the year mentioned 24,919 quarters of chilled beef went from the River Plate to England; the next year, 94,498 quarters; in 1903, 142,542 quarters; in 1904, 198,300 quarters; in 1905, 402,195 quarters, the amount not subsequently exceeding 500,000 quarters until 1908, when 767,284 quarters were exported."
Of course it is much more expensive to ship chilled beef than to ship it frozen, but a difference of 2 cents a pound or more in the price makes chilling worth while. The exports of chilled beef are not replacing those of frozen beef, however, as the latter have increased more than three times during the same period. The exports of frozen beef for the eight years in question were as follows:
During this time the trade with New Zealand and Australia has fluctuated in amount with a strong tendency to decrease. The exports of frozen beef from River Plate ports to Great Britain for the year 1908 alone exceed all such exports from New Zealand and Australia for the seven years from 1902 to 1908.
Frozen beef can not compete with chilled beef, and therefore North American cattle growers have little to fear in the growth of the River Plate frozen-meat trade. Although the British quotations show that River Plate chilled beef is inferior to chilled beef from the United States, the opinion of exporters at Buenos Aires and other slaughtering points is that the quality is improving, although the quotations may not yet show it. However, with the marked falling off in our own exports of meat and meat products, we can well find it worth while to watch the progress of the energetic young nation to the south of us, whose stock of cattle is nearly five head per capita of population. If our export meat trade is about to repeat the history of our export horse trade, and the home consumption account for practically the entire supply, our breeders will have in South America a great opportunity to market superior breeding animals. If rising prices in the United States force us to abandon our foreign meat trade to a country which is now a rival in that trade, there is no reason why that rival should not be made a friendly customer for bulls and rams.
a These and other figures regarding the meat trade between the River Plate and Great Britain are taken from W. Weddell & Co.'s (London) Review of the Frozen Meat Trade for 1908, Supplement No. 1.
See page 404 of this report.