A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary Poisons
by Fredrick Accum
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Brazil wood, application of for colouring wine, 74

Bread, adulteration of with alum, 98 methods of detecting it, 108 with potatoes, 105 goodness of, how estimated in this metropolis, 98 how rendered white and firm, 99 corn, method of judging its goodness, 110 flour, different sorts of from the same kind of grain, 99 adulteration of with bean flour, 99 process of making five bushels into bread, 102 made from new corn, improvement of, 107 method of judging of goodness, 110

Brewers, list of, prosecuted for using illegal substances in their brewings, 151 convicted of adulterating their strong beer with table beer, 143 Druggists, 119 prosecuted for supplying illegal ingredients to brewers for adulterating beer, 119

Breweries, illegal substances seized at various, 136

Brown Stout, quantity of spirit contained in it, 126


Calcavella, quantity of brandy which it contains, 95

Carbonate of ammonia, used by fraudulent bakers, 105

Catsup, adulteration of, 227

Claret, quantity of brandy which it contains, 95

Clary, used for flavouring wine, 75

Cheese, poisonous, and method of detecting it, 206

Chemists, are not permitted to sell illegal ingredients to brewers for adulterating beer, 118 list of, convicted of this fraud, 119

Cherry-laurel water, dangerous application of for flavouring creams, &c., 231 used in the manufacture of spurious wines, 75 in the manufacture of brandy, 195

Citric Acid, adulteration of, 244 method of detecting, 245

Cocculus indicus, nefarious application of in the brewing of beer, 18 early law prohibiting its application, 115 brewers prosecuted for using it, 152 seizures made of at different breweries, 136 narcotic property of, to what owing, 153 extract of, application in brewing, 136

Coffee, adulteration of, 176 law in force against it, 177 grocers lately convicted of selling spurious, 176

Confectionery, adulteration of, 224 methods of detecting it, 225

Conserves, contamination of with copper, 226 should never be deposited in vessels glazed with lead, 257

Constantia, quantity of spirit which it contains, 94

Copperas, or salt of steel, publicans convicted of mixing it with their beer, 129 seizures of, at various breweries, 136

Cream, adulteration of, and mode of detecting it, 222

Custards, flavoured with cherry laurel leaves, dangerous effects from it, 231

Cyder, melancholy catastrophe of persons drinking such as was contaminated with lead, 254


Elder-berries are used for colouring port wine, 74 flowers are used for flavouring insipid white wines, 75

Entire beer, origin of its name, 144 composition of, 146

Extract of cocculus indicus is used by fraudulent brewers, 136


False strength, how given to wine and spiritous liquors, 19, 192 how given to vinegar, 220

Flavour of French brandy, how imitated, 194

Flour, new, of an indifferent quality, how rendered fit for being made into good and wholesome bread, 107 different sorts, from the same kind of grain, 99 sour, practice of converting it into bread, 105

Food, rendered poisonous by copper vessels, 252 by leaden vessels, 257

Frothy head of porter, how artificially produced, 133


Geneva, Dutch, quantity of alcohol which it contains, 205

Gin, adulteration of, 187 quantity of alcohol contained in different sorts, 205 dangerous method of clarifying, 202 legal exactment of its saleable strength, 197 proof, what is meant by this term, 188 strength of, how ascertained by the Excise, 188 sweetened, fraudulent practice of composing it for sale, 200 unsweetened, ditto ditto, 200 false strength, how given, 202


Hermitage, quantity of brandy which it contains, 95

Hops, adulteration of, prohibited by law, 132 its chemical action upon beer, 133

Hydrometer, legal, now in use for ascertaining the strength of spiritous liquors, 187

Hyson tea, spurious. See Tea leaves


Imitation arrack, 196 tea. See Tea leaves coffee. See Coffee


Leaden pumps and water reservoirs, dangerous effects to be apprehended from them, 62

Lisbon, quantity of spirit which it contains, 94

Lozenges, adulteration of, 236

Lemon acid, adulteration of, 243 method of detecting it, 244


Madeira, quantity of brandy which it contains, 94

Malaga, quantity of brandy contained in it, 94

Malt, patent, for colouring porter, 123 disadvantages of, 124 liquors, dangerous adulteration of, 115 strength of different kinds. See Porter, 126 spirits, adulterations of, 197 characteristic flavour, to what owing, 197 nefarious practices of compounding them for sale, 199 false strength, how given, 202 act restricting the strength of it, 197

Meat, salted, should not be preserved in leaden vessels, 258

Milk, improper practice of keeping it in leaden vessels, 257

Mint salad, pernicious custom of preparing it, 258

Multum, a substance employed for adulterating beer, 17 seizures of, at various breweries, 136

Mushroom, poisonous, 246 Catsup, 250

Mustard, adulteration of, 241


Oak-wood saw-dust, is used in the manufacture of spurious port wine, 75 in the manufacture of spurious brandy, 194

Orris-root, is used for flavouring insipid wines, 75

Olive oil, contamination of, with lead, and method of detecting it, 239


Pickles, contamination of with copper, 219 improper vessels for keeping them, 257

Pepper, black, adulteration of, 211 law in force against it, 213

Poisonous Cheese, 206 Cayenne pepper, 215 catsup, 227 custard, 231 olive oil, 239 mushroom, 246 pickles, 207 soda water, 251

Porter, origin of its name, 121 adulteration of with wormwood, 132 act prohibiting it, 113 average strength of, as furnished to the publican, 126 ditto, as sent out by the retailers, 127 illegal substances for adulterating it, 131 brewers, convicted of adulterating their porter with illegal ingredients, 151

Porter, frothy head of, how produced, 133 method of ascertaining the strength of different kinds, 160 quantity of alcohol contained in London porter, 162

Port wine, adulteration of, 74

Publicans, prosecuted for adulterating their strong beer with table beer, 129


Quassia, fraudulent substitution of, for hops, 131 disadvantages of its application, 132 seizures of, at various breweries, 137


Raisin wine, quantity of brandy which it contains, 94

Rum, adulteration of, 187 false strength, how given to it, 202 is seizable, if sold, unless of a certain strength, 189 quantity of alcohol contained in it, 205


Soda Water, poisonous, and method of detecting it, 251

Spiritous Liquors, adulteration of, 187 dangerous practice of fining them with noxious ingredients, 202 quantity of alcohol contained in different kinds, 205

Sweetmeats, adulteration of, 224

Sweet-brier, use of it for flavouring wines, 75


Tarts of fruits, should not be baked in earthenware vessels glazed with lead, 258

Tea leaves, adulteration of, 171 method of detecting it, 171 law in force against it, 163 poisonous sophistication of, 173 method of detecting it, 174 coloring of, with verdigris, 168 black, spurious, process of manufacturing it, 168 green, imitation of, 169

Tea dealers, convicted for selling adulterated tea, 169

Toys, improper practice of painting them with poisonous colours, 259


Vidonia, quantity of brandy contained in it, 95

Vin de Grave, ditto ditto, 95

Vinegar, adulteration of, and method of detecting it, 220 distilled, and method of ascertaining its strength, 221


Water, characters of good, 37 chemical constitution of those used in domestic economy and the arts, 33 danger of keeping it in leaden reservoirs, 60 hard, how softened and rendered fit for washing, 39 New River, constitution of, 38, 45 substances contained in potable, 48 how detected, 50 substances usually contained in spring, 42 taste and salubrious quality, to what owing, 33 Thames, constitution of, 46, 48

Wine, adulteration of with alum, 74 British port, 77 champaigne, 77 bottles, improper practice of cleaning them, 85 bottle corks, practice of staining them red, 79

Wine doctors, 80 quantity of alcohol contained in various kinds, 94, 95 dangerous practice of fining them, 83 to prevent them turning sour, 84 art of flavouring them, 75 home-made, chemical constitution of, 96 improvement from age, to what owing, 91 Southampton port, 78 strength of, on what it depends, 92 specific differences of different kinds, to what owing, 89 test, 86 white, manufacture of, from red grapes, 90

Whiskey, Irish, flavour, to what owing, 197 strength of, 205 Scotch, ditto, 205

Wormwood, substitution of, for hops, 132



Greek words in this text have been transliterated and placed between marks.

The word "Pharmacopoeias" used an "oe" ligature in the original.

Unusual spellings, variations in spellings, and variations in hyphenation have been left as in the original. Examples include:

inpregnating transparant coculus/cocculus inconscious orris/oris root

The following corrections have been made to the text:

page iii—comma added after "beer" in "beer, pepper, and other articles of diet"

page x—changed period to comma after "Ale" in "Method of ascertaining the Quantity of Spirit contained in Porter, Ale, &c."

page 61—changed "where" to "were" in "When men were unable to detect the poisonous matters"

page 62—corrected spelling of "snd" to "and" in "by Hyppocrates, Galen, and Vitruvius"

page 78—added "t" to "yeas" and added period at end of "before it is cold, add some yeast and ferment."

page 98—corrected spelling of "indipensable" to "indispensable" in "degree of whiteness rendered indispensable by the caprice of the consumers"

page 104—changed comma to period after "sufficient for a sack of flour"

page 113—changed comma to period after "made of these ingredients only, are entirely deceived"

page 120—corrected "Authur" to "Arthur" in "Arthur Waller" and corrected "Dun" to "Dunn" in "John Dunn"

page 126—added period after "Co" in "Messrs. Barclay, Perkins, and Co"

page 129—added period after "l" in "strong beer, 20l"

page 130—added comma after "Harbur" in "John Harbur, for using salt of steel"

page 140—added ending quote mark after "of them from brewers' druggists, within these two years past."

page 149—changed comma to period after "resorted to only by fraudulent brewers"

page 152—changed semi-colon after "Stephens" in "Septimus Stephens, brewer"

page 154—corrected spelling of "apolexy" to "apoplexy" in "drinkers are very liable to apoplexy"

page 169—corrected spelling of "Malin's" to "Malins'" in "Malins' coffee-roasting premises"

page 185—corrected spelling of "find" to "fined" in "were fined 20l. each"

page 202—added the word "on" in "as stated on pages 70 and 86"

page 210—corrected spelling of "annotta" to "anotta" in "who adulterated the anotta"

page 222—added hyphen in "arrow-root"

page 223—added hyphen in "tea-spoonful" and corrected spelling of "jodine" to "iodine" in "few drops of a solution of iodine"

page 227—added "s" at end of "Mr. Lewi "

page 231—corrected spelling of "cookry" to "cookery" in "articles of cookery"

page 245—corrected spelling of "glanular" to "granular" in "insoluble precipitate in minute granular crystals"

Footnote 46—added period after "p" in "3d edit. p. 270"

Footnote 87—added missing end quote after "with copperas and sheep's dung." and removed extraneous period after "48" in "Plant, p. 48;"

Footnote 115—corrected spelling of "Qvae" to "Quae" in "Quae voluptas tanta ancipitis cibi?"


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