Extracts -

As familiar to the average retailer and consumer, consist of a certain percentage of true extract or essence, or its chemical imitation, in an alcoholic solution. The aromatic principles of a great many spices, nuts, herbs, fruits, etc., and some flowers, are thus marketed, among the best known of true extracts being almond, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, LEMON, nutmeg, orange, peppermint, pistachio, rose, spearmint, vanilla, violet and wintergreen.

A majority of natural essences are obtained by extracting the essential oil from the blossoms, fruit, roots, etc., or the whole plants, by expression, absorption, distillation, or maceration. The first method, that of Expression, can only be employed when the oil is very plentiful and easily obtained, as in LEMON peel (see LEMON OIL). The second, Absorption, is generally accomplished by steeping in alcohol, as vanilla beans (see vanilla EXTRACT). The third, distillation (which see) is sometimes comparatively easy, as when following Maceration in making peppermint extract, etc. (see MINT), but in many cases it requires expert chemical knowledge and the erection of costly stills.

The distinctive flavors of nearly all fruits, in the popular acceptance of the word, are very desirable adjuncts to many food preparations, but unfortunately there are only a few from which it is practicable to obtain a concentrated flavor extract of the necessary strength. Among those which lend themselves readily to the manufacture of "pure" extracts the most important are lemons, oranges and vanilla beans.

A majority of other, concentrated fruit flavors, as banana, cherry, currant, peach, pineapple, raspberry and strawberry, are produced by chemical combinations of compound ethers, together with special oils, etc, the desired colors being generally obtained by the use of coal-tar dyes. Among the ethers most generally employed are Acetic and Butyric (which see). The chief factors in the production of artificial banana and pineapple extract, and also important in the maufacture of strawberry extract, are amyl-acetate and amyl-butyrate, Amyl alcohol being the principle constituent of that part of the alcohol obtained by the distillation of grain and potato starch, etc., which is popularly known in this country as "fusel oil" and in Europe generally by the title of "potato oil. "

Artificial extracts do not as a rule possess the delicacy of the fruit flavor, but they get sufficiently close to it to be of real service and convenience when true essences are unobtainable.

Arround Extracts in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

Extract of Meathome
Falernian Wine

The Grocer's Encyclopedia
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