There are innumerable fluid preparations of pep-tonised beef which are recommended for invalid consumption; but, as a rule, they are not so good as those which are freshly made by the addition of pancreatin powder, although their use saves time and trouble. They may be sometimes employed to tide over an emergency after a severe operation or collapse from haemorrhage, un-10 controllable emesis, etc. The use of peptones for invalid foods is open to the objection that after a short time they excite disgust, and may cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The more complete the conversion of albumin into peptone the more bitter it becomes.

Voit, Politzer, Gerlach, and others maintain that true peptone possesses little if any nutritive power, and that the albumoses can be directly absorbed from the alimentary canal without further fermentation into peptones.

Of the numerous commercial preparations sold under the general names of peptones, peptonoids, predigested meat extracts, etc., those have proved the most nutritious which, in reality, contain the least peptone, and the most albumose.

Bread and beef peptone, or panopeptone, is a preparation in which wheat starch and beef are both predigested and preserved in sound sherry. It may be taken cold in doses of one to four teaspoonfuls iced, or with carbonic-acid water, or wines, but it should not be mixed with milk or other foods. Beef peptonoids are also mixed with predigested milk and gluten.

Summary

Most of these preparations are given in doses of one or two tablespoonfuls once in four hours. Usually they are tired of soon, and do not support life long, for, beyond the means employed of condensation of food by evaporation of water and compression, it is not possible to "concentrate " nourishment very much. Making food assimilable and more useful is another matter from concentrating it in the sense that it can be made to support an able-bodied man and supply him with energy for a day's work, for example, of mountain climbing.

Neither does such predigested aliment represent concentration for an invalid; the bulk of food given is certainly reduced, and its assimilation may be improved, but it does not convey into the body any phenomenal quantity of latent force units or of heat units. It is important to understand this fact; otherwise serious misconceptions arise as to the actual amount of nutrition which a patient fed exclusively on peptonoids and similar food preparations is receiving.

The following analyses illustrate the comparative composition of some of the preceding preparations as given by Chester:

Composition of Meat Extracts (Albert H. Chester).

Water.

Organic matter.

Ash.

Soluble albumin.

Alcoholic extract.

Liebig's extract

18.27

58.48

23.25

0.05

44.II

Benger's extract beef

40.65

39.85

19.50

I.II

13.18

Starr's extract of beef

37.00

55.05

7.35

1.10

10.13

Johnston's fluid beef

41.20

50.40

8.40

1.17

15.93

Valentine's neat juice

54.40

31.84

13.75

0.44

26.32