A circular advertising a certain breakfast food, after dividing glucose into good and bad kinds, introduces the following paragraph, saying that the definition is from the dictionary, "Glucose, the trade name of a syrup obtained as an uncrystallizable residue in the manufacture of glucose proper, and containing in addition to some dextrose or glucose, also maltose, dextrine, etc. It is used as a cheap adulterant of syrups, beers, etc. Thus we learn even in this public way that there are harmless and harmful kinds of glucose".
The implication is, of course, that glucose is unfit for food, and no account is taken of the facts that maltose is a sugar perfectly wholesome and digestible, and that dextrine is always an intermediate product in the change of starch into sugar, whether this change is induced by the action of acid as in the manufacture of commercial glucose, or by a ferment as in the change of starch into sugar by the saliva.
No good can come from exaggerated and false statements, and it is the business of every woman who has to do with the purchasing of foods to so inform herself that she shall not be misled.
We may classify the adulterants of foods, using the term in a broad sense, under three headings. First, additions or substitutions used for the sake of cheapening the product; second, material such as coloring matter, used either to imitate the natural product or to beautify and make more attractive some foods; third, preservatives. Of the first class, by far the greater number are such as affect the pocketbook and not the health. One of the common adulterants of spices, for instance, is starch, and this only means that when such a spice is used a larger amount is needed than would be the case if it were pure. Coffee to which has been added chicory or ground peas 01 beans, or for which has been substituted an artificial bean, cannot be said to be less wholesome because of this treatment. Cream of tartar, because of its expense, is often adulterated, but again the adulterant is usually harmless. Butterine substituted for butter means the payment on the part of the consumer of a large price for an inexpensive article; but the article consumed is in every way as digestible and wholesome as if no substitution had been made. This and many other articles used to adulterate more expensive ones, have their own value, and if placed upon the market under their own names, might be profitably used. There is no reason to think that corn syrup, or glucose, with a flavoring of caramel is less wholesome than maple syrup, but we all justly object to having the former product labelled with the name of the latter and sold at its price.
The crusade against adulterations should then, so far as this class is concerned, be directed toward full and correct labelling, and against the possibility of cheap articles being branded as superior ones or sold at the price of the better article. The consumer should demand the right to receive the full equivalent for money paid, and every effort should be made, not only to have right laws passed but to see that frequent tests are made of food materials bought in the open market, and to compel manufacturers to make a correct statement of the ingredients in their wares.