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date: 21 October 2019


  • Jonathan Stephenson


Complex protein found in milk that may be used as a glue (see Adhesives §1, (i)) or as a binding medium for paint (see Paint, §I, 1). It exists in different forms, isolated from the milk and activated for use by various methods. There are significant differences in the properties of the casein obtained by each method of preparation. Casein was originally produced by reacting curd or skim milk directly with an alkali, originally lime and later ammonia. Monoamvonium caseinate is easier to employ and is generally of good quality, but a purer type of casein in powder form is now more widely used, and the convenient tube colours are most generally employed.

Lime casein, being practically insoluble in water and possessing great adhesive strength, has been important as a glue. Casein is likely to have been employed for bonding wood in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and perhaps also on the Indian subcontinent and in China. Firm evidence of its use in Europe is found from the Middle Ages; descriptions of its preparation from cheese, probably a reference to some form of purified curd, appear in several manuscripts, including ...

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