Submitted by M.Lenz, Collections Assistant
We, as consumers, like to know what we’re eating. We want the calories, sodium, fibre, fat, and everything else that’s in our food. What we have this week is a couple machines which helped Herring Reduction workers determine the fat and protein content of Vitamin oil and fish meal.
The Goldfisch Fat Extractor (the one with our model, below) extracts fat and oil from samples for testing. The procedure involves placing samples between a boiling solvent and a cold surface. As boiling continues, the solvent vaporizes, condenses on the cold surface, and washes down through the samples into the boiling solvent below. The protein tester is a Kjeldal Distillation Apparatus, actually determines nitrogen content, which gives a solid indication of protein levels. Unfortunately protein levels can be faked by adding nitrogen-rich chemicals such as melamine.
These machines are still in use today, and while you may have thought burning fat was expensive, extracting it will set you back about $15,000.