Throat lozenge

Adulteration of Lozenges

Lozenges, particularly those into the composition of which substances enter that are not soluble in water, as ginger, cremor tartar, magnesia, &c., are often sophisticated. The adulterating ingredient is usually pipe-clay, of which a liberal portion is substituted for sugar. The following detection of this fraud was lately made by Dr. T. Lloyd.[113]

"Some ginger lozenges having lately fallen into my hands, I was not a little surprised to observe, accidentally, that when thrown into a coal fire, they suffered but little change. If one of the lozenges was laid on a shovel, previously made red-hot, it speedily took fire; but, instead of burning with a blaze and becoming converted into a charcoal, it took fire, and burnt with a feeble flame for scarcely half a minute, and there remained behind a stony hard substance, retaining the form of the lozenge. This unexpected result led me to examine these lozenges, which were bought at a respectable chemist's shop in the city; and I soon became convinced, that, in the preparation of them, a considerable quantity of common pipe-clay had been substituted for sugar. On making a complaint about this fraud at the shop where the article was sold, I was informed that there were two kinds of ginger lozenges kept for sale, the one at three-pence the ounce, and the other at six-pence per ounce; and that the article furnished to me by mistake was the cheaper commodity: the latter were distinguished by the epithet verum, they being composed of sugar and ginger only; but the former were manufactured partly of white Cornish clay, with a portion of sugar only, with ginger and Guinea pepper. I was likewise informed, that of Tolu lozenges, peppermint lozenges and ginger pearls, and several other sorts of lozenges, two kinds were kept; that the reduced articles, as they were called, were manufactured for those very clever persons in their own conceit, who are fond of haggling, and insist on buying better bargains than other people, shutting their eyes to the defects of an article, so that they can enjoy the delight of getting it cheap; and, secondly for those persons, who being but bad paymasters, yet, as the manufacturer, for his own credit's sake, cannot charge more than the usual price of the articles, he thinks himself therefore authorised to adulterate it in value, to make up for the risk he runs, and the long credit he must give."

The comfits called ginger pearls, are frequently adulterated with clay. These frauds may be detected in the manner stated, page 225 .


[113]Literary Gazette, No. 146.