The full process followed consisted in determining the moisture by drying 100 grains at 212° F. till constant, and taking this dried portion for estimation of the resin in the way just stated. The alcoholic extract was evaporated to dryness over a water-bath, the residue dissolved in solution of sodium carbonate, and the resin precipitated by dilute sulphuric acid (these reagents being chosen as the best after numerous trials with others), added in the slightest possible excess. The resin was collected on a tared double filter paper, washed with distilled water until the washings were entirely colorless, dried and weighed.
The ash was found in the usual way, and the extractive by the difference. In the ash the amount soluble was determined, and qualitatively examined, as was the insoluble portion in most of them.
The results are as follows:
| 1. | 2. | 3. | 4. | 5. | 6. | 7. | 8. | 9. | 10. Moisture | 21.75| 21.60| 20.39| 69.73| 18.00| 18.28| 15.71| 38.18| 19.33| 22.50 Resin | 3.00| 2.90| 1.00| 8.80| 3.00| 1.80| 5.40| 12.00| 5.90| 9.20 Extrac- tive | 57.29| 59.33| 65.00| 19.47| 58.40| 65.67| 26.89| 20.82| 23.77| 28.50 Ash | 17.96| 16.17| 13.61| 2.00| 20.60| 14.25| 52.00| 29.00| 51.00| 39.80 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- |100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00|100.00 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ashes: | | | |Almost| | | | | | Soluble | 13.20| 12.57| 7.50|wholly| 10.0| 11.75| 18.5 | 20.0 | 15.0 | 13.8 Insoluble| 4.76| 3.60| 6.11| NaCl.| 10.6| 2.50| 33.5 | 9.0 | 36.0 | 26.0
The first six are the ordinary red rolls, with the exception of No. 4, which is a red mass, the only one of this class direct from the manufacturers. The remainder are brown cakes, all except No. 7 being from the manufacturers direct. The ash of the first two was largely common salt; that of No. 3 contained, besides this, iron in some quantity. No. 4 is unique in many respects. It was of a bright red color, and possessed a not disagreeable odor. It contained the largest percentage of moisture and the lowest of ash; had, comparatively, a large amount of coloring matter; was one of the cheapest, and in the course of some dairy trials, carried out by an intelligent farmer, was pronounced to be the best suited for coloring butter. So far as my experience goes, it was a sample of the best commercial excellence, though I fear the mass of water present and the absence of preserving substances will assist in its speedy decay. Were such an article easily procured in the usual way of business, there would not be much to complain of, but it must not be forgotten that it was got direct from the manufacturers--a somewhat suggestive fact when the composition of some other samples is taken into account. No. 5 emitted a disagreeable odor during ignition.
The soluble portion of the ash was mostly common salt, and the insoluble contained three of sand--the highest amount found, although most of the reds contained some. No. 6 was a vile-looking thing, and when associated in one's mind with butter gave rise to disagreeable reflections. It was wrapped in a paper saturated with a strongly smelling linseed oil. When it was boiled in water and broken up, hairs, among other things, were observed floating about. It contained some iron. The first cake, No. 7, gave off during ignition an agreeable odor resembling some of the finer tobaccos, and this is characteristic more or less of all the cakes. The ash weighed 52 per cent., the soluble part of which, 18.5, was mostly potassium carbonate, with some chlorides and sulphates; the insoluble, mostly chalk with iron and alumina. No. 8--highest priced of all--had in the mass an odor which I can compare to nothing else than a well rotted farmyard manure. Twenty parts of the ash were soluble and largely potassium carbonate, the insoluble being iron for the most part.
The mineral portions of Nos. 9 and 10 closely resemble No. 7.
On looking over the results, it is found that the red rolls contained starchy matters in abundance (in No. 4 the starch was to a large extent replaced by water), and an ash, mostly sodium chloride, introduced no doubt to assist in its preservation as well as to increase the color of the resin--a well known action of salt on vegetable reds. The cakes, which are mostly used for cheese coloring, I believe, all appeared to contain turmeric, for they gave a more or less distinct reaction with the boric acid test, and all except No. 8 contained large quantities of chalk. These results in reference to extractive, etc., reveal nothing that has not been known before. Wynter Blyth, who gives the only analyses of annatto I have been able to find, states that the composition of a fair commercial sample (which I take to mean the raw article) examined by him was as follows: water, 24.2; resin, 28.8; ash, 22.5; and extractive, 24.5; and that of an adulterated (which I take to mean a manufactured) article, water, 13.4; resin, 11.0; ash (iron, silica, chalk, alumina, and common salt), 48.3; and extractive. 27.3. If this be correct, it appears that the articles at present in the market, or at least those which have come in my way, have been wretched imitations of the genuine thing, and should, instead of being called adulterated annatto, be called something else adulterated, but not seriously, with annatto.
I have it on the authority of the farmer previously referred to, that ¼ of an ounce of No. 4 is amply sufficient to impart the desired cowslip tint to no less than 60 lb. of butter. When so little is actually required, it does not seem of very serious importance whether the adulterant or preservative be flour, chalk, or water, but it is exasperating in a very high degree to have such compounds as Nos. 3 and 6 palmed off as decent things when even Nos. 1, 2, and 5 have been rejected by dairymen as useless for the purpose. In conclusion, I may be permitted to express the hope that others may be induced to examine the annatto taken into stock more closely than I was taught to do, and had been in the habit of doing, namely, to see if it had a good consistence and an odor resembling black sugar, for if so, the quality was above suspicion.