[The problems of food adulteration in the publications of a Warsaw pharmacist Alfons Bukowski (1858-1921)]

Kwart Hist Nauki Tech. 2014;59(3):81-104.
[Article in Polish]


In the second half of the 19th century, the economic changes, industrial development and migration of the population from rural to urban areas in Europe, there was an increasing demand for cheap foodstuffs, which contributed to the growth of mass food production, as well as to the increase in adulteration of foodstuffs. In the Kingdom of Poland, the research on this problem was conducted by a Warsaw pharmacist and chemist, Alfons Bukowski (1858-1921), the author of the first Polish textbook on bromatology Podrqcznik do badania pokarmów (1884) ("A manual for food testing"). The methods and results of his research were published in magazines, among others, in "WiadomoSci Farmaceutyczne" ("Pharmasist News"), "Zdrowie" ("The Health") and "Czasopisma Towarzystwa Aptekarskiego" ("Journals of the Pharmasist Association"). He paid attention to the social noxiousness of the adulterations, indicating that it is especially the poor people, who buy the cheapest products that are particularly vulnerable to adulteration of foodstuffs. In this paper, there have been presented selected issues related to adulteratibn of food products, issues to which Bukowski paid particular attention, and which were significantly affected by contemporary development of food chemistry, among other the development of methods of chemical and microscopic analysis and the generation of new surrogates, which replaced the natural food products.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Food Contamination*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodicals as Topic / history*
  • Pharmacists / history*
  • Poland
  • Research / history

Personal name as subject

  • Alfons Bukowski