Cream

Adulteration of Cream

Cream is often adulterated with rice powder or arrow root. The former is frequently employed for that purpose by pastry cooks, in fabricating creams and custards, for tarts, and other kinds of pastry. The latter is often used in the London dairies. Arrow-root is preferable to rice powder; for, when converted with milk into a thick mucilage by a gentle ebullition, it imparts to cream, previously diluted with milk, a consistence and apparent richness, by no means unpalatable, without materially impairing the taste of the cream.

The arrow-root powder is mixed up with a small quantity of cold skimmed milk into a perfect, smooth, uniform mixture; more milk is then added, and the whole boiled for a few minutes, to effect the solution of the arrow-root: this compound, when perfectly cold, is mixed up with the cream. From 220 to 260 grains, (or three large tea-spoonfuls) of arrow root are added to one pint of milk; and one part of this solution is mixed with three of cream. It is scarcely necessary to state that this sophistication is innocuous.

The fraud may be detected by adding to a tea-spoonful  of the sophisticated cream a few drops of a solution of iodine  in spirit of wine, which instantly produces with it a dark blue colour. Genuine cream acquires, by the addition of this test, a faint yellow tinge.