Pancreatine, a name given to various preparations representing the activity of the pancreatic juice, and containing its peculiar ferment in greater or less purity. The processes by which pancreatine is formed are not officinal, and some of them are secret. A glycerine extract may be made, and it is said that pancreatine may be prepared by a process similar to that employed for pepsin. (See Pepsin.) The pancreas itself chopped up with meat makes a good digestive for certain purposes. Pancreatine digests albuminoid materials, and assists in transforming starch into sugar. Its peculiar function however is the digestion of fat, which it forms into a fine and permanent emulsion capable of being absorbed. It possesses the special advantage over pepsin, that it does not require an acid medium for its action, but digests in an alkaline, neutral, or even acid fluid, although the pancreatic juice itself is alkaline. Pancreatine has been somewhat used in medical practice, especially with fatty articles of food or medicine. It may be given with cod-liver oil, and may be used in the wasting diseases of children.
The fresh pancreas chopped- fine with meat has been recommended as a highly digestible and consequently absorbable material • for injection into the rectum when it is necessary to sustain life in this way. Pancreatine is sometimes combined with pepsin. Mixed with cream it forms an emulsion, which has been used as a substitute for cod-liver oil.