Franz Ritter von Soxhlet
Biography of Franz Ritter von Soxhlet
Franz von Soxhlet was the son of a Belgian immigrant. After completing his chemical studies with a PhD in Leipzig in 1872, he became an assistant at the institute of agriculture and animal chemistry – Landwirtschaftliches und tierphysiologisches Institut – in Leipzig. In 1873 he was appointed assistant at the Landwirtschaftlich-chemische Versuchsanstalt in Vienna. From 1879 to 1913 he was professor of animal physiology and dairy at the technical high school in Munich, besides being entrusted the leadership of the Landwirtschaftliche Versuchsstation für Bayern at this school. In 1894 he earned a degree in medicine from the University of Halle.
Soxhlet earned himself a place in the history of medicine for his work on the sterilisation of infant nourishment (Säuglingsnahrung) in single portions, being referred to as the "reformer of infant nutrition". Besides the method of milk and the nutritional sugar named for him. In 1886 he described "pasteurization" of milk to prevent spoilage and transmission of diseases: In 1893, he described the chemical differences between human and cow milk, and in 1900, he investigated the relationships between the milk content in calcium salts and the rachitis frequency. Soxhlet is also known as the first scientist who fractionated the milk proteins in casein, albumin, globulin and lactoprotein. Furthermore, he described for the first time the sugar present in milk, lactose.
Franz von Soxhlet was considered a very intelligent man and a scientist clever in several domains. He was an estimated teacher, a prolific scientist and an ingenious inventor.