An approach to nineteenth century concerns about food fraud: The translation and reception of Alphonse Chevallier’s Dictionnaire des altérations et falsifications des substances alimentaires in Spain

Manuela Álvarez Jurado, Universidad de Córdoba, España

Manuela Álvarez Jurado, 2016: "Un acercamiento a la preocupación decimonónica por los fraudes alimentarios: La traducción y recepción en España del Dictionnaire des altérations et falsifications des substances alimentaires de Alphonse Chevallier", Onomázein 33, 289-309.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.33.17

By the end of the eighteenth and during the first-third of the nineteenth centuries, the development of science in Spain was dependent upon the scientific revolution taking place in Europe. This generated an enormous interest in translating famous scientific manuals and specialised works coming from France and other European countries. These translated texts compensated for the scarce production of this type of publications in Spain. The increasing demand on food and the numerous discoveries in the field of chemistry favoured food adulteration and food growing in a huge fertilised crop. The great concern about food fraud, more and more frequent at the time, encouraged both the authorities and scientists to control the works on food fraud that were being published throughout Europe, especially in France and Germany. Therefore, translated versions were produced in order to reveal the contents of such works. Among these, Alphonse Chevallier’s Dictionnaire des alterations et falsifications des substances alimentaires, médicamenteuses et commerciales ave l’indication des moyens de les reconnaïtre (published in 1850) is the most celebrated, and was translated into Spanish by the Chemist Ramón Ruiz Gómez as Diccionario de alteraciones y falsificaciones de las sustancias alimenticias, medicamentosas y comerciales con la indicación de los medios para reconocerlas (1854).