Liebig, Justus Von

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Liebig, Justus von (1803–73) was a titan of the 19th century whose influence on our diet has been extensive and profound. Born in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt, he was a professor of chemistry at the universities of Giessen and Munich. He transformed chemical education, had a world-wide reputation, and was embroiled in many controversies in his lifetime: not always on the winning side, as evinced by his disagreement with louis Pasteur over the nature of fermentation. Another argument he lost, although not until many years after his death, was about the effect of searing on a piece of meat—maintaining it kept the goodness and the juices in, when it did no such thing.