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Re: [BKARTS] matching old paper


Many years ago, we were advised that a particular make of English gravy browning
gave a good ageing colour to paper.  We tried it, and it works well, to this
day.  It gives a reading of about 8 on the pH meter.  In the alkaline range.

The active ingredient is Caramel colouring E150, which is made from burnt sugar.
This is the basis of the brown colouring in Coca-Cola, as well as all the pies
and gravies around(as our food colouring supplier here in Sydney has just
informed us).  Be aware, though, that the E150 range of Caramel colourings as
supplied to the industry, has a pH below 7, i.e. in the acidic range, so if you
wish to obtain supplies yourself of the basic caramel colouring, you will have
to buffer any solutions yourself.

The gravy browning colouring we use is alkaline, as indicated above.  Would this
property indicate its suitability for use in archival/conservation practice?
Perhaps the learned members of this List might wish to comment.


Peter Krantz.

Book Restorations.
34 Clanville Road,
N.S.W.        2069,

(P.O. Box 500,  North Sydney,  N.S.W.  2059.)

Telephone:  +61 2 9416.9900
Fax:  +61 2 9416.6800
Email:  restore@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Established:  1976


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