Monday, August 9, 2010

Oleomargarine –substitute for butter

Oleomargarine –substitute for butter
Oleomargarine was invented un 1867 by the French chemist Hippolyte Mege-Mouriez, who entered a contest sponsored by Napoleon III.

The contest awarded a prize for anyone who found a satisfactory butter substitute to be used by the navy and the poor.

Mege-Mouriez used margaric acid, a fatty acid component he derived from finely minced beef.

Margaric acid was in fact isolated by Michael Eugene Chevreul in 1813. Chevreul named the product “margaric” because the lustrous pearly drops of the product reminded him of the Greek word for pearl – margarites.

Mege-Mouriez knew he needed to find a name for his product in order to differentiate it from butter. He came up with the word “oleomargarine” because so much of his product consisted of margaric acid.

The prefix “oleo” was taken from the Latin word oleum, which is a name for beef fat, the principal ingredient used.

The word “oleomargarine” was later simplified to “margarine”.
Oleomargarine –substitute for butter
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