These exist under the name of meat teas, meat extracts, meat juices, peptones, peptonoids, dried meat powders, and lozenges. A large number of meat preparations do not contain the nutritive constitutents of meat, or only contain them in very small proportions; on the other hand, they contain large amounts of extractives which may derange digestion and impair the action of the kidneys. Meat contains on an average about 20 per cent, of protein. It is, therefore, impossible to concentrate meat down to less than one-fifth of its bulk, if the total nutritive value of the protein is to be retained. When it is stated that 1 lb. of meat extract is equal to 34 lbs. of meat, it should be clearly understood that 1 lb. of the extract contains only the whole flavouring matter from 34 lbs. of meat, and nothing more. These extractives have no nutritive value as tissue-builders or energy producers, but have some value as stimulants of the digestive secretions and for removing temporarily muscular fatigue. Such preparations, therefore, as contain little or none of the nutritive constitutents of meat are to be regarded as flavouring agents rather than as foods. If given in too large amount they may induce thirst, diarrhcea, and other evidences of deranged health. It will convenient to discuss these preparations in the following order: -

1. Meat teas and meat extracts.

2. Meat juices.

3. Meat powders and lozenges.

4. Partially digested preparations.

Meat Teas And Meat Extracts

A meat tea or meat extract is prepared by cutting up the meat into small pieces, heating slowly in water, then boiling quickly; the product is then strained, the protein (which is coagulated by heat and which forms a nutritive sediment) is thrown away, and the result is a fluid with an agreeable flavour, consisting of water, extractives, salts, and a very small amount of gelatine. One pound of lean beef extracted with 1 pint of water, yields about 25 to 30 ounces of good beef-tea, which contains about 1 1/2 per cent, of protein and extractives. Some commercial meat teas are strengthened by the addition of some of the shredded-down meat fibres. Meat teas are often made from one of the proprietary meat extracts in place of fresh meat, and a meat tea so prepared compares very favourably with the home-made preparations, alike as to flavour, stimulating properties, and expense. The better known of these preparations are as follows: -

Mason's Home-Made Beef-Tea. Composition

Meat fibre ....

374

Soluble albuminoids and extractives .

10.58

Mineral salts ....

2.37

The directions are: - Dilute a tinful with a pint of water. This reduces the nutritive value to one-third, and brings it in strength to much the same proportion as in good homemade beef-tea. The cost works out at about 3 1/2d. a pint. A comparison of the cost of this with that of other preparations may be given in tabular form: -

Lemco . . .

1 1/4d. per pint.

Oxo ....

2d "

Invalid Bovril .

2 1/2d. „

Mason's Beef-tea .

3 1/2 "

Brand's Beef-tea

4 1/4d. „

The cost of home-made beef-tea varies with the quality of meat used. One pound of meat yields 1 1/2 pints, and the cost can be calculated from the quality of beef. On the whole, home-made beef-teas as ordinarily prepared are more expensive than those made from the above meat extracts.

All beef-teas have little nutritive value, but are useful stimulants. They are therefore an expensive form of diet. In fevers and certain debilitating conditions associated with impaired digestion, poor appetite, and furred tongue, the patient can take a hot, clear, more or less nutritive drink more readily than any other form of food. The rest to the digestive organs associated with the use of such a diet for twenty-four or forty-eight hours will be helpful in restoring the patient's capacity to digest and assimilate a really nutritive diet such as milk.

Of the pure meat extracts, Liebig's is the most representative: 34 lbs. of pure beef yield I lb. of extract, which makes 70 pints of beef-tea, each pint containing the extractives from 1/2 lb. of meat. The composition of the extract is roughly as follows: -

Moisture..

16 to 21 per cent.

Mineral salts • .. .

18 to 22 „

Extractives..

56 to 60 „

It contains no protein and no fat. Numerous modifications of Liebig's process have been introduced since it was recognised that the fluid had practically no nutritive value. These modifications consist in the addition of meat fibre, so as to give the extract some definite nutritive value. The following table gives the approximate composition of the chief meat extracts: -

Water.

Proteins and Gelatine.

Extrac tives.

Nitrogen from

Substances.

Salts.

Armour's Extract..

24.3

160

20.5

200

19.0

Bovril ......

39.5

9.1

34.1

1.2

13.5

Bouillon Fleet ...

61.9

11.8

9.8

3.8

12.5

Brand's Beef Bouillon..

36.2

9.5

19.3

19.7

15.0

Brand's Essence..

87.1

10.4

1.0

...

1.3

Hipi (mutton preparation) ...

35.0

38.0

16.0

1.5

8.4

Lemco ......

17.8

16.4

38.1

6.0

21.5

Liebig's Extract..

20.0

...

557

0.9

24.0

Mason's'Essence..

77.0

3.0

7.4

2.9

9.5

Oxine Extract ...

62.9

13.0

4.5

..

19.6

Oxo...

38.1

18.9

20.3

5.3

17.3

Viking Beef Essence..

90.6

3.6

1.8

2.4

1.4