This section is from the book "A Treatise On Beverages or The Complete Practical Bottler", by Charles Herman Sulz. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise On Beverages.
A great deal has been said and written against glucose as a dangerous article to use. It is, however, when properly made, a wholesome article of food. Though somewhat deficient in sweetening power, it is just as wholesome as cane-sugar, and, being much cheaper, can be used as a substitute for some purposes, and may be improved by a trifling addition of saccharine. When carelessly made, it is a dangerous article to take into the system. Prof. Charles R, Fletcher, chemical lecturer to Boston University, and State assayer of Massachusetts, states that he has analyzed three samples of the best solid glucose and two samples of the syrup graded A and B, and in every sample found free sulphuric acid - oil of vitriol. In one sample of best glucose he found thirty grains of oil of vitriol to the pound of glucose. Here is the difficulty, for if the acid employed in the manufacture of glucose is not entirely neutralized or the calcium carbonate is added in excess, the finished product will contain an adulterant which cannot be taken into the system with impunity, for either the free sulphuric acid or the lime salt will sooner or later produce gastric disturbances and indigestion. Then, too, as is well known, commercial sulphuric acid has its impurities, and they are likely to contaminate the product unless pure acid is used.
But the glucose question is not whether glucose is a wholesome article of diet, but whether it is used as an adulterant for some more exnen-38 sive article of food, such as cane-sugar, honey, confectionery, syrups and the like. That it is so used to an enormous extent there is not a doubt. Whether the glucose employed as an adulterant is pure or not has little to do with the question. To adulterate food with anything, either whole-some or unwholesome in itself, is a serious crime, and the offender should be severely dealt with.
Reports occasionally appear to the effect that bottlers employ glucose in their syrups, thereby enabling them to turn out a cheap grade of drinks. This is nonsense, and is a libel on the trade. At least 2 1/2 times as much glucose as cane-sugar is required to produce the same sweetening effect, which explains all, not to mention the risk and sure destruction of his beverage when impure glucose is employed, and the rapidity with which such beverages start fermentation and decomposition. But sugar coloring may be made of glucose, and even if impurities are present, contrary assertions notwithstanding; in this respect we refer to the directions later on for the preparation of sugar color.
Glucose, if even improved by the addition of saccharine as stated in the next article, is for the manufacturer of carbonated beverages of no practical value, as he may more advantageously employ a "accharine essence".However, for confectioners, distillers, wine-makers, etc., glucose with or without the addition of saccharine is a valuable sugar substitute, as they need the "body," we only the "sweetness".
To ascertain if a glucose-syrup (syrup of starch) has been badly prepared and contains starch, pour a small quantity of the syrup into a test glass and add a drop of solution of iodine, (iodine 1 part and potassium iodine 3 parts, dissolved in 50 parts of distilled water), which instantly produces a violet color.
If the syrup contains a certain quantity of sulphuric acid in consequence of incomplete saturation, it is recognized by means of litmus paper, which, by contact with the acid, becomes instantly a bright red.
"Fruit-Sugar" or Levulose, Chylariose. - C6H12aO6; mol. weight 180. "It frequently accompanies grape-sugar in fruits, also in honey; in some plants it is associated with cane-sugar. It is usually a colorless, uncrystallizable syrup, has nearly the same sweetness as cane-sugar, and turns the plane of polarized light to the left. It may be obtained in fine silky needles, which are insoluble in absolute alcohol and ether, but dissolve readily in aqueous liquids.
"Levulose is produced from inulin by treatment with dilute acids; with nascent hydrogen it yields mannit. Among the products of oxidation by nitric acid are succinic, acetic, and oxalic acids". - - N. D. This fruit-sugar or levulose has no practical application in the manufacture of carbonated drinks; it is, however, so frequently mentioned in connection with sugar or fruits, also the next-described kind, that we considered it necessary to take up an informative description of them.
Inosit or Phaseo-Mannit - C6 H13 O6 2H3 O; mol. weight 216. "It is presertt in the juice of some meats, in the green fruit of many leguminosae, in asparagus, and in other plants. It is very sweet, crystallizes readily from water and alcohol, is insoluble in ether, does not undergo alcoholic fermentation, and yields with nitric acid explosive compounds and oxalic acid". - N. D.
The latest discovered sugar-substitute of commercial importance is saccharine, of which we treat in full.