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Today's story starts as soon as many good stories. Do with a german chemist whose family vig was one of the people who invented modern chemistry as a field and his contributions are vast in laboratory science and culture in nutrition. And once again we have the wonderful flavor historian nadia bernstein on the show and for the purposes of today's episode leagues contributions to agriculture are. Not the most important. We're interested in his nutrition. Science at the time in the eighteen hundreds scientists were hard work trying to understand. What the heck food actually was. This is kind of what chemists were up to you back then in the nineteenth century they were like. There's all of this stuff in the world what is it made of. Let's figure it out and name it. It's not just name it but decide which bits of it were essential chemists. Were trying to break food down into its elemental parts and understand exactly which parts we needed to survive in the eighteen thirties. Scientists named and identified protein and they found it particularly fascinating so why not just keep breaking things down was the trend at the time and scientists noticed that different protein-rich foods seem to be made up of slightly different building blocks. These are what we call amino acids today. If you think about proteins as molecules i mean most of us aren't thinking about perkins molecules. But if you imagine it it's sort of long molecule that's composed of a lot of different component parts of which are amino acids and what hydrolysis is basically this process of blasting that big molecule apart into these constituent pieces. This is in fact. Exactly what did hydrolysis he took hydrochloric acid and used it to break down or dissolve matt and then figure out what the different kinds of amino acids were lee bigs. Big breakthrough was identifying one particular amino acid creating which he then also found in the muscles of living animals. He found it in especially high levels in the muscles of a fox that died while it was running. And that's what led him to the conclusion that creating was the key to muscle action. People had been claiming that meat was important for health for a really long time but leagues contribution was to show at least based on his science at the time that the protein in meat was critical for muscles and so it was an essential component of a nutritious diet. League went as far as to say that the protein element of food was the only true nutrient meet. Was it said when his friend's daughter came down with typhoid league. Knew exactly what she needed me but she was too sick to digest solid foods. So league took some cook chicken. He grounded up. He soaked it in hydrochloric acid to dissolve it altogether at what he thought was critical creating. Then he added another chemical to neutralize the acid and turn it into table salt and then he gave the young girl this salty savory broth and she recovered and this led to what became one of his most popular discoveries at the time league was able to use chemistry to create a modern version of beef tea leaf. Tea had been popular with the sensitive and the sick leave for a few decades. The idea was that invalids. He were too delicate to eat. A great big steak could still get all its goodness by boiling that stake in water straining it and then drinking the resulting meat juices. Basically the idea is if your sickly. If you're wasting away with any of the numerous diseases that may have afflicted the dickensian populace mid nineteenth century. What you want to do is to get an easily and readily absorbable. Both sort of strengthening food of protein leagues was different from traditional beef t. He didn't need to boil meat for hours. To break it down. He could use hydrochloric acid to league. This meant he could keep in more of the good stuff from meat in the broth. He thought boiling. It was less effective. So liebenberg's beefed. He was kind of this. Concentrate at this sort of hydrolysed blasted part beef proteins made into a liquid broth that sickly little orphans and delicate women could sip and thus beyond the way to restoring their health lee big published his beef tea formula and a quickly became all the rage with fragile elite searching for something to pep up their delicate constitution pharmacists would make up a big batch. Evaporated and zealot under the name extract. Carney's extractive meet. It was classified as a legal drug. in germany. in fact it was considered so essential that pharmacists were required to keep it in stock. Doctors reported that league's formula for extractives. Carney's could be useful for tuberculosis. Typhus various dumped arrangements. and scruffy. One doctor said it could be a useful substitute for brandy and cases of exhaustion. Depression and despondency. I'd rather have a brandy but the point is leaving. High tech version of beef d. was a wonder drug in the eighteen fifties. It was thought of as a way to give the goodness of muscle forming meat to the week in puny

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