This section is from the book "Monograph on Flavoring Extracts With Essences, Syrups, and Colorings", by Joseph Harrop . Also available from Amazon: Monograph On Flavoring Extracts With Essences, Syrups And Colorings.
These Essences are intended to represent the flavoring principles of plants, and have come to be extensively used. They are sometimes called "extracts."
Fruit essences are made from combinations of ethers and alcohol, to which are sometimes added certain acids and natural "essences." Glycerin is present in almost all of them, and is added for the purpose of blending and harmonizing the various flavors. All the ingredients, alcohol as well, should be chemically pure.
These combinations have been made so perfectly to represent the natural fruit, that the food inspectors of Paris report that the only difference between the genuine and imitation is, that the latter appear to be the finer of the two.
Artificial flavorings, when properly prepared, are considered harmless.
As perfumes, they are not a success, producing headache and disagreeable symptoms. They somewhat resemble carbonic acid gas, which is the life of our carbonated beverages, and when taken into the stomach is healthful, but taken into the lungs to any great extent, is capable of producing fatal effects.
As to the manufacture of these goods by retail dealers, we note in a recent druggists' trade journal the following, which is a partial answer to a request to publish the formulas for the different artificial essences. After giving two or three formulas, they conclude: "Enough formulas have been given, we think, to show that the retail druggist will not care to make his own artificial fruit essences. The number of fruit ethers necessary to be carried is large and the stock expensive."
We will not discuss financial questions, as this work is not intended as a trade or market review; formulas and facts directly connected with them is our task; nevertheless, as we have promised all the facts, we will remark in this connection, that we have bought "concentrated extracts" of this kind where we would defy even Piesse himself to tell which was strawberry and which raspberry, except by reading the labels. They were exactly the same, save in color.
Since all wholesale druggists have become manufacturing chemists, there can be no guarantee for the quality of such goods.