MORE ABOUT MEAT PRESERVING.
In thb course of conversation the other day with one of the leading pastoralists of the oolony on the subject of the new process of preserving mutton for the Home market by exposure to the fumes arising from the combustion of an antiseptic powder, the gentleman referred to expressed the opinion that the whole thing was a humbug, and that beyond a few newspaper artioles we should hear nothing more about it. Indeed there is a widespread feeling of inoredulity, many hesitating to believe m the effioaoy of the new process, on the prinoipie that the news is muoh too good to be true. No doubt it is too early as yet to assume that success is assured, and confidence m the efficacy and reliability of the process can only be established after repeated experiment upon an extensive scale, but .m the meantime evidence is accumulating m favor of the probability of ultimate and complete suocess. For example, we find the London correspondent of the " Dunedin Star " writing as follows under date April sth : — •" I find that outsiders are inclined to pooh-pooh the invention, and Bay thero is nothing m it, and that pebple will not take to food which has been chemically treated j but the fact is that no one can tell it has been chemically treated, for, as I have repeatedly said, thero is no sign of medication whatever. The other day I took down to tho offices a party of New Zealanders, consisting of Mr Purvis I Russell , late of Napier, Mr McHardy, of Hawke's Bay, and Mr Maoloan, of Otagb, and they were all astounded at what, they saw, as well as highly exoited at the prospect of a vast increase m tbe value of tjioir sjieep. Wo tasted the remains pf tho saddle of mutton which nine days previously had been served at the lunoh at tho Continental, and aU pronounced it to be sweet and delicious. ' This was to my knowledge the same saddle, for I recognised the way it had been out, The exploitation is so new that people have not yet had time to realise what it is all about, and it has not become as known as it undoubtedly will shortly. Mr Cordner tells me that the patent rights for Lancashire and Yorkshire are as good as sold, and he expeoted to complete arrangements for two ptbpr counties this week. An objection has been urged against the use of tho invention m shipment, whioh is not to be passed over. It is said that if the carcases are not hard as they would be if frozen, it is 1 impossible to bring them over as ordinary cargo, for the undermost layers would bo crushed and spoilt by the weight on them. There is something m this, But tho I bet p which, are bangipg fa fto offloe,
from oue month to tw> munihs old, are^ to all appearances as hard as frozen' mutton, and it is certain that after a few, weeks tbey would present a stubborn resistance, on tbe outside at least, by reason of contact with the air. When cooked the juicy, soft aspect returns. However, supposing it were not possible to paok sheep treated by this process as ordinary cargo, they might be sent hanging as they are when frozen, and while this arrangement would add to the ex pense of the freight, it would still be an enormous improvement on the freezing system, as all expenses of freezing and maintaining refrigerators would be obviated. In this case the saving would certainly be one half, if not more, while if packing as ordinary cargo obtained, the saving would be nearly four-fifths. I hear that several people are m treaty with the patentee a for the purchase of ' the Australian rights, and possibly also the Now Zealand rights. The danger is that a Oompany may buy up the rights, and constituting a monopoly, put a high price on the powder, and thaß neutralise a good deal of the profit to the colonists." | That there is really " something m it"— | by which we mean of course that those , ibeßt qualified to judge look upon the success of the new process aB by no means improbable— may be inferred from the fact that Messrs Nelson and Tallerman, who are largely interested, as being connected with the froaen meat trade have visited the works and appear to have been impressed by what they saw of the new method, while the correspondent above quoted mentions that Mr Russell, of the proposed Imperial Colonial Trading Oompany, is to go down and examine for himself with a view to reporting the reault of his inquiry to his co-Directors, who will scarcely with their enterprise should it be shown that freezing is to be suspended by the new method. Whether or not this be the case, it however appears to be evident that a great revolution is certain to be effected shortly m the matter of preparing meat for long voyages, freezing by ammonia being apparently infinitely cheaper and simpler than freezing by the Coleman-Bell process. Writing of the ammonia process as exhibited at the establishment of Messrs Perkins and Co., Regent Square, the " Star's " correspondent says :— -" Mr Perkins' invention depends upon the ohemical affinity of ammonia for water, and ib extremely simple. It may be remembered by some of your readers that a wellknown New Zealand squatter undertook some experiments m conneotion with | ammonia, under the idea that it was possible to utilise it m freezing sheep. But bis efforts failed and it has been reserved for Mr Perkins to prove that what he attempted was possible. The apparatus is, as I say, very, simple and easily understood. There is a closed cylinder foil of liquid ammonia, a lengthy curved pipe connecting it with another closed oylinder, a gas stove or email furnace, and that is all This is the way tbe apparatus works— the gas is lighted beneath the cylinder containing the, am monia, and gradually the heat separates the ammonia from the water, and drives it np through the pipe into the other oylinder. During its transit it is cooled by a water-jacket supplied from a tank of water. No sooner is all the ammonia -oxpellod- into the- second cylinder than the gas is put ont, and the ohemical affinity of the ammonia for the water begins to assert itself. This results m the passage back of the ammonia into the first cylinder, where the water is, and so great is the heat absorbed m the recombination that all the heat is extraoted from the neighborhood, and the temperature of the second cylinder sinks rapidly. Within a quarter of an hour of the gas being put out we watched the thermometer fall to 55 below zero, and saw a pot of mercury m the vioinity of the second cylinder frozen. The power of freezing is enormous, and the apparatus can be made on any scale. It is oalied an arktos, and several arktoßes can be worked from one furnace. I saw some worked by a furnace, and others by gas. The application of the principle is readily seen. The second cylinder is made to run through a room, while the first and the connecting tube are fixed below where the gaß or furnace is. Direotly the fire is put out the temperature begins to fall, and m half an hour is as low as you wish it to be. The cost of maintaining the apparatus after the initial expense is very slight, for the ammonia need never be renewed, while the cost of gas or fuel is, for 480 superficial feet, or about 4000 cubic feet, one shilling a day. The gas or fire need only be maintained for a conple of hours m the twenty four. If proof of the effioaoy of this arktos had been needed by ns, we should have been amply convinced by visits paid to various chambers m which it was at work. Some we entered were 15deg below zero, and others we looked into were even lower m temperature. Piles of carcases littered the floor, and mutton, game, and food of all kinds had been kept for months. Mr Perkins is fitting up small arktoses for sideboards, one of whioh we saw, and found within the compass and appearance of a cheffonier, 4ft by Bft, a perfeot frozen chamber with blooks of ice, and so forth. The cost of this, the smallest arktos made, is £2§, and with that initial outlay the expense practically ends. Other sizes are £60. Mr Perkins fitting up arktoses for the Japanese Embassy and other places, and they seem about to com 3 into use m private houses and offices." The ammonia process is evidently a vast improvement on the method of freezing at present m use, whioh involves the employment of very coatjly machinery and oonstant supervision and attention, and will doubtless greatly reduce the cost of sending our mutton Homo, but it is evident that the " Star's" correspondent believes, that the ohemical process first described will supersede this and all other freezing procesßes. Further information on this very Interesting subject will be eagerly looked for, but meanwhile there seems to be all but a certainty that by ono or other of the new methods a great revolution m the meat trade is impending, the results of which will be the scouring to our exporters much more satisfactory results, aud the giving an enormous impetus to our pastoral industry. If these expectations are fully borne Qufc then it <• means millions " to the colony.,
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