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REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF THE BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY
Art UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, 1926-1927
BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY,
Washington, D. C., September 1, 1926. SIR: I beg to submit herewith the report of the work of the Bureau of Chemistry for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1926. Respectfully,
C. A. BROWNE, Chief. Hon. W. M. JARDINE,
Secretary of Agriculture.
The Bureau of Chemistry is author-) pounds to the soil or by changing the ized to investigate problems in the soil reaction, but the results thus far field of agricultural chemistry and to obtained are inconclusive. Some exenforce certain regulatory statutes periments were carried on to detercontrolling the purity and truthful mine the effect of soil reaction on the labeling of foods, drugs, tea, and naval yield and composition of certain crops. stores.
A paper on Soil Reaction in RelaIn the field of agricultural chemistry tion to Horticulture was published to the work of this bureau is largely meet the widespread interest in the concerned with crop chemistry, es- subject of soil reaction and its effect pecially with that part of crop chem- on plant growth. Such related subistry which includes the study of the jects as the correlation between soil composition and utilization of farm reaction and nitrogen content and the products.
composition of the ash of air plants
were studied to obtain information as CROP CHEMISTRY
to the mineral constituents available
to plants from atmospheric sources. Experimental work conducted during the year has shown that the high
CONSTITUENTS OF THE COTTON PLANT protein wheat resulting from th application of sodium nitrate to the soil at the time of heading yields as much
The results of research work to deflour as normal wheat raised under
termine the odorous constituents of the same conditions and that this flour
the cotton plant have been previously
all those substances gives a bread having superior quali- reported. As ties. In a field-plot study of the prac
were volatile, the investigations alticability of increasing the protein of
ready reported were restricted to those wheat by fertilizer applications atten.
products from the plant that could be tion was directed to the quantity of
obtained by distillation with steam. sodium nitrate to be applied to pro
It seemed important, however, to exduce the optimum effect, to the possi
tend the investigation by examining bility of replacing the sodium nitrate
also the nonvolatile constituents of the by other nitrogenous fertilizers, such
plant. This work was completed and as ammonium sulphate, and to the
the results of the investigations were practicability of spacing the rows of
prepared for publication. wheat so as to permit heading-time applications on a large scale. The best FRUIT AND VEGETABLE UTILIZATION time for applying the fertilizer had been determined in previous years. The demands of the market for
Work was done on the possibility of more carefully graded fruits and vegincreasing the iron content of green etables result each year in larger vegetables by applying iron com- quantities of culls remaining at the
producing centers. One of the press- proving most profitable to the citrusing problems of fruit and vegetable fruit industries of California.' growers is to find more profitable out- The basic research work of the Los lets for the culls and for the surplus Angeles laboratory was continued durwhich can not, for one reason or an- ing the year.
A chemical study is other, be marketed profitably in the being made to ascertain the exact comfresh state through the regular chan- position of orange and lemon oils for nels of commerce. The bureau has the purpose of determining whether been working for a number of years the inability to manufacture satisfacon the development of technological tory terpeneless oils from the Caliprocesses for manufacturing usable fornia citrus fruit is due to some funsubstances from cull and surplus damental chemical difference between fruits and vegetables to aid in the these oils and those made from Eurosolution of this problem. The devel- pean oranges and lemons or to variaopment of such processes not only tions in the processes of manufacture. brings greater returns to the growers The results of this research should but creates new manufacturing indus- show the relative values of the oils tries, which give profitable employ- for certain uses, such as the manument to capital and labor.
facture of ice creams, hard candies, The development of new processes cake icings, perfumery, and beverages. for utilizing fruits and vegetables is By means of an improved machine to slow and tedious work, requiring ex- press the oil from orange peel and tensive and patient research. The lemon peel developed during the year composition of fruits and vegetables at least 5 pounds of oil can be exas a rule is very complex, and the tracted from the peels of a ton of various chemical substances contained lemons. One concern in Los Angeles in these products can only be deter- uses 60 tons of citrus fruit a day in mined by laborious and extended re- making juice by means of a revolving search. After the chemical composi- burr-type machine. As citrus oils are tion in detail has been determined worth approximately $2.50 a pound, there remains the experimental work the extraction and utilization of the to develop practical processes and de- oil would mean an additional return vices for manufacturing profitably on of $12.50 for each ton of cull fruit a commercial scale the various sub- Or, on the output of this one plant, a stances which the researches have gross additional income of $750 a day. shown may be produced. Although More work must be done to perfect the progress in both research and develop- machine and the process for extractment work is often slow, the results ing the oil before this possible addiare in the long run highly profitable tional return can be realized. It is beto the growers of fruits and vegetables, lieved that research work now under as well as to the manufacturing indus- way on the detailed chemical compositries. It has been found in this and tion of the oils from orange and lemon other countries that the basic research peel will develop information that will and experimental work must be done enable California manufacturing conby the Government, but that the ap- cerns to utilize these oils for all purplication of the results may be left poses for which the European product to private capital and individual initia- can now be used. tive. The returns from the basic re- Work was continued on the utilizasearch work are often so long delayed tion of pomegranates, the production that it can not well be financed by of which is increasing rapidly in Caliindividuals, who must ordinarily ex- fornia. Pomegranates must be carepect a return upon their investment fully graded for the market, with the within a reasonable time.
result that large quantities of culls are The report of the chemist for 1925 available. A satisfactory concenoutlined the steady growth of the com- trated juice and jelly have been exmercial application of methods worked perimentally manufactured in the Los out in the bureau for the utilization Angeles laboratory. One commercial of cull and surplus oranges and lem- concern is now producing juice and ons, particularly in California. Sev- may shortly take up the manufacture eral commercial concerns are now of this product in concentrated form. manufacturing on a profitable scale The development of juice manufacture numerous marketable products from is retarded by marketing problems. large quantities of cull oranges and Other concerns are considering the lemons which would otherwise go to manufacture of concentrated juice waste. The research work begun in and jelly from pomegranates. An imthe Bureau of Chemistry laboratory at proved press devised for extracting Los Angeles about 12 years ago is now pomegranate juice in experimental