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February 17, 1951


JAMA. 1951;145(7):489. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920250041013

Devices employed in industry to enhance the attractiveness of foods, and hence their acceptability, are of considerable interest from the public health point of view. Some of the processes, though with a long history of use, are now regarded as detrimental, for one reason or another. Nitrogen trichloride, long employed as a bleaching and conditioning agent for flour, is in this category. The more recent critical experimental studies were stimulated by a report1 in which was demonstrated the close association of epileptiform seizures or canine hysteria with the presence of flour that had been treated with nitrogen trichloride (agene) in the ration of dogs. Later it was demonstrated2 that the toxic factor produced by agene resided in the protein fraction of the flour. A mixture of amino acids similar to that obtained by hydrolysis of gliadin, one of the wheat proteins, given intravenously to dogs produced3 no