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Baking Powder WarsThe Cutthroat Food Fight that Revolutionized Cooking$
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Linda Civitello

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041082

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252041082.001.0001

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The Alum War and World War I

The Alum War and World War I

“What a Fumin’ about Egg Albumen,” 1907–1920

(p.117) Chapter 8 The Alum War and World War I
Baking Powder Wars

Linda Civitello

University of Illinois Press

The alum baking powder companies turned on each other over Calumet’s deceptive water glass test, in which egg albumen foamed up and looked more powerful than other baking powders. President Theodore Roosevelt ignored the Poison Squad experiments by USDA chief chemist Harvey Washington Wiley, and appointed famous scientists to the Remsen Board to investigate the effects that new chemicals in food, such as saccharin and baking powder, had on humans. Wiley continued his crusade at Good Housekeeping, where he withheld the famous “Seal of Approval” from alum baking powders. During WWI, doughboys developed a new appreciation for doughnuts, while Americans used baking powder to leaven rationed gluten-free flours, and baking powder use expanded in the Jewish community.

Keywords:   alum, albumen, Calumet baking powder, water glass test, Remsen Board, Poison Squad, Harvey Washington Wiley, Good Housekeeping, seal of approval

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