In recent years the examination of infants' stools, on the assumption that they represent the completeness of digestion and absorption of the different food constituents, has become a matter of great importance in the study of infant nutrition. Especially is this true in regard to the fat of the stool. It is generally believed that a knowledge of the fat content of stools and the distribution of the fat as soap, free fatty acids and neutral fat is highly desirable from a practical point of view. This knowledge is usually obtained by a superficial clinical examination of the stool and conclusions are frequently drawn from such findings which seem to us to be of questionable value.
There is, however, available in the literature a considerable amount of material which has been obtained by more complete and accurate chemical investigations. For various reasons these findings have not established a definite standard