Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy Science


Probably no discovery in the scientific world, and especially in the field of nutrition, has excited more interest in the past few years than the finding and naming of the three hitherto unknown food factors known as vitamins. For many years it has been observed that certain diets for man that apparently are satisfactory as far as their nutritive value is concerned, still seem to lack something necessary for normal growth and function, or else lead to some serious disease. For example it has been known for centuries that sailors on long ocean voyages where the diet consisted largely of dried vegetables and salted meats, were subject to the disease known as scurvy. It was discovered that the addition of lemon juice to the ration prevented and cured this disease. Green foods were found to have a similar curative effect. However little or nothing was done to discover just what the physiological effect of these substances was. The investigation of the oriental disease known as beri-beri brought about the research work leading up to the present status of vitamins perhaps more than any other one thing. For many years this disease had been prevalent among oriental peoples and tis cause was unknown. Investigators finally came to the conclusion that the rice which was a staple article of diet among these peoples had some relation to this disease. In the Philippine Islands in 1898 after the United States Government assumed control, one of the first reforms put into operation was the cleaning up of the unsanitary prison conditions. The scientists who were put in charge of this work improved the prison conditions greatly but did not change the prisoners’ diets appreciably. The diet consisted largely of polished rice and fish. A great increase of beri-beri occurred which it seemed impossible to check. The investigations following this from 1900 to 1911 finally attributed the disease to a certain substance (later known as vitamin B) which was absent in polished rice but present in rice hulls. IN 1906, F. Gowland Hopkins in England, and Eijkman, a Dutch chemist, working along the same lines with fowls came to the conclusion that some unknown food factor was concerned, the absence of which caused beri-beri. In 1911 Casimir Funk, a German student who had been doing work in producing beri-beri in pigeons, name these unknown dietary factors vitamins. He based the name up on the fact that he believed that nitrogen being present in a basic form made them amines, and being essential to life, he name them Life-amines or vitamins. Hopkins of England named the substances “accessory food factors” but Funk’s nomenclature is now generally accepted among investigators. Later Investigations brought out the fact that there were three distinct vitamins and these were designated by Dr. E. V. McCollum of Johns Hopkins University as “fat-soluble A, water-soluble B, and water-soluble C.” These names are now used although Funk has further distinguished them to designate their particular avitaminoses as the antirachitic vitamin (A), antineuritic vitamin (B), and antiscorbutic vitamin (C).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Milk -- Pasteurization
Diary cattle -- Feeding and feeds


Includes bibliographical references (page 50-56)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State College


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only


Includes plates