ANALYST, in modern times, a person professionally skilled in chemical analysis. He may be called upon, in the discharge of his profession, to analyse a wide range of substances. Apart from private practitioners and those engaged in large manufacturing concerns, analysts employed by public bodies are termed public analysts. In most large manufacturing establishments there is usually a staff of analysts, whose duty it is primarily to exercise constant watchfulness over the processes of manufacture, to test the purity of the substances used, as well as that of the final products. The services of analysts are constantly required in judicial enquiries, sometimes in purely criminal cases, sometimes in civil proceedings, such as offences against the customs or excise or under the various British Food and Drugs Acts. In the case of criminal proceedings, the services of the official analyst attached to the British Home Office are employed. The inland revenue department has a laboratory at Somerset House, with a staff of analysts, who are engaged in analysing for excise and other purposes. Under the Fertilizers and Feeding Stuffs Act 1893, the Board of Agriculture employs an agricultural chemist, whose duty is the analysis of fertilizers and feeding stuffs.
A "public analyst" is an analyst appointed by a local authority for the purposes of the Sale of Food and Drugs Acts. He must be possessed of competent medical, chemical and microscopical knowledge to analyse all articles of food and drink (see ADULTERATION).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)