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January 31, 1931


JAMA. 1931;96(5):358-359. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720310048011

With the. development of the newer conceptions of nutrition has come a recognition of the importance of certain substances present in small concentrations in our usual foods. Among them, indispensable though quantitatively insignificant, are certain mineral elements, such as calcium, iron and iodine, and others, largely unidentified though probably organic in nature, which have been called vitamins. Having realized the physiologic importance of these obscure nutritive principles, investigators have turned their attention to the chemical behavior with the result that some of the time-honored methods of preparation of food have been shown to destroy or to waste a considerable part of these factors originally present. Relatively long heating even at moderate temperatures in open utensils tends to decrease the content of all the known vitamins in foods, notably at a neutral or alkaline reaction. Likewise the inorganic salts tend to be leached from the material being cooked and, especially with