THE NEW MEAT PRESERVING PROCESS.
Fome three weeks or so ago wo called the attention of our readers to the alleged discovery of an entirely new method Jof preserving meat and other food substances, which is creating quite a sensation at Homo, and which promises to entirely revolutionise the trade m alimentary produots In many parts of the world. The prooess referred to was described as so simple, inexpensive! and •sQ«oicw ( tb*t miftj perjooi b»Y«
deemed the news too good to be true, but farther information supplied to the '• Melbourne Age " by its London correspondent not only confirms the previous reports to which we alluded m the artiole referred to, but seems to supply indubitable evidence that the new process promises all, and more than 1), the advantages which were therein claimed for it. Tho correspondent mentioned says that the invention is m the hands of a Company styled The Food Preservation Company, and describes a luncheon given by it to a party of gentlemen at the Hotel Continental, Regent street, with a view of affording ocular and practical proof of the excellence cf the method of preservation, and of the edible and wholesome character of the viands subjected thereto. Among the guests were Mr Hodge, M.P., and Bir Charles Clifford, and all present seem to hare been thoroughly satisfied, the menu being a most recherchS one, and the items of the bill of fare of untainted freshness, although all had been pre served for weeks. Speaking at the luncheon Mr Hodge said that m December he was out shooting on his estate, and that among other things he bagged a couple of pheasants. His brother, who was with him, had just come from London, where he had heard or seen something of a wonderful invention by which food was preserved m a few hours, and would last ever so long without any care. He and others ridiculed .the idea, and the brother said : "Well, let me have those two pheasants, and I'll show you I'm not joking." It was done ; the pheasants were taken up to London and submitted to the process for three hours. They were then taken away, and had remained m Mr Hodge's possession ever sinee — now three months. " Three days ago," he said, " I ate one of the birds for dinner, and it was m absolutely perfect condition. I have brought here the second bird that you may examine it for yourselves, and see whether it is not quite fresh and moist. And I give you my word that this bird was shot m the middle of December, and that except the few hours it was m London undergoing the process it has never been out of my possession." Ihe bird (adds the correspondent of the "Age") "wai subsequently handed round, and I oan certainly affirm that it seemed to have been shot but a few days." Sir Charlee Clifford, being called upon to express hie views, said that he considered the new preserving process extremely marvellous, and that it seemed destined to revolutionise the meat trade. The modut operandi of the process is thus described as witnessed at the works. "I call them 'works' (says the writer) but m reality there is nothing but a box and plate of powder, so simple is the contrivance. In the room was a box ol about 6ft by Bft, which when I saw it was empty. In the top compartment, which is only partially separated from the lower, are two small zinc tanks, which are filled with ice or cold water. About on a leVel with the tanks is a little ehelf, m whioh the plate of powdei is put. The whole of the lower portion of the box is filled with meat to be put through the process. The box is ail tight, or nearly bo, the plate of powdei is ignited with a match, and the door ie dosed. The fames of the vapor rise quickly over the tanks, when they are cooled down to a sufficiently low temperature, and thence descend to the meat and attack it. In three hours the whole of the meat is rendered incapable oj decay. If the process of putrefaction has already set m, it is asserted, the vapor will not allow it to proceed any further. The meat may then be taken out, and thrown aside, left anywhere m any temporature, and for any length of time, and it remains good. I viewed at the office hams and carcases which were from three weeks to three monthß old, and they were all fresh and juioy m appearance. Fqrtherinore, the process is applied not only to meat, but to vegetables (as we found at the lunch), to fruit and to flowers. Maidenhair sprays have been preserved, after subjection to the vapor, for two weeks, while, as everyone knows, ordinarily they will wither m a day. I saw oranges three months old, which had been cut open weeks ago, and were still as juicy and sweet as when they were first picked. Pines and grapes were the same. In fine, there seems no end to the applications and uses of this extending elixir vita. Hides I saw which were eight weeks old, and. were as soft as the day they were pulled off the backs of the bullocks. In * couple of days, as everyone knows, a 'hide will kill ,at twenty yards." The process whioh ■ produces these wonderful results was, it seems, invented by an American chemist named Daniells, who had been at work on it for fourteen years, and finally brought his experiments to a successful issue; the powder used therein being composed of many constituents, some of whioh are sugar, cinnamon, sassafras, nitrate of potassium, soda, and sulphur. It has been suggested that the process, is muoh the same as that employed, m ancient times by the Egyptians m embalming their dead, for it is proved that if the preserved meat is kept for a long time ('many months J it has a tendenoy to get dry, and this would reduce It to the condition of a mummy m time. How long the preservative effects of the vapour prod uoed by burning th.c powder above described continue is a moot point, but it has been conclusively shown to lart over three months, and it is asserted that experiments made m America have proved it (o last over eight mpnths, %\ is stated that meat treated hy this process wjll keop after being cooked just as before cooking, and that water placed m the chamber while the powder is burning gets impregnated with tho vapor, and acquires the virtue of preserving the meat thrown, into U. Fish have been kept fresh, by being thrown into this water, for a whole fortnight. The importance of this invention , if experiment on an extended scale results m demonstrating it to be all that is claimed for it, is unquestionable, as is forcibly shown by the correspondent from whoßo interesting letter we have gathored the foregoing, m the following furthor extraot with which we will for the present take leave of the subject : — " At present the growers of sheep m Australia and New 2jealand are paid 2£d a pound for their mutton ; a similar sum is absorbed m the process of freezing and transport m refrigerating chambers to England ; and 5d is the sum the mutton brings m the English market. That is to say, a sum of 10s 5d per sheep of 501 bis absorbed m expenses between the grower and the English market. Now, the bulk of this goei la fte freezing «XDlU|6i~*fttt jg,
expenses of freezing m factories, ex penses of transmission to and by steamer expenses of refrigerating m depots, etc. As a matter of fact, if sheep could be sent as ordinary cargo the expenses wopid not be more than £d per lb for freight. I will not, however, put the freight as low as that, but estimate £d as the sum per lb charged by ships from the Antipodes to England. That would be about £5 per ton, or 2s per Bheep of 501 b. Now, the quantity of meat whioh I find on enquiry and experiment could be put into this small box was, roughly speaking, between 200 and 3001 b, that is, between four and six sheep of 501 b. The amount of powder required to preserve these m three or four hours is fib, and the cost of the powder is 9d per lb. Let us say, therefore, that 7d would be the cost of preserving five sheep, or simply l£d per sheep. So that the cost of preservation, and export to England under the new system, would be 2s 1W for a sheep of 501 b, whereas now, under the freezing system, it is 10s sd. Surely this deserves the attention of every run* holder m Australia and New Zealand. If the price of mutton were maintained at 5d here, it would oause a net increase of 8s B£d per oarcasu for the grower. But, of course, the price would fall, and the English publio and the grower split the advantage between them."
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