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Dissolving is the cooking process that makes a solution. Solutions are when one set of molecules, or ingredients, are mixed and evenly distributed in such a way that they are indistinguishable from each other.

For food science, they are effectively homogenous mixtures. In solutions, small molecules are evenly spread out and thoroughly mixed. In contrast, for larger molecules that are evenly spread and mixed, emulsions arise, because one set of molecules, or ingredient, is not fully dissolved and so are suspended in the mixture. This gives a cloudy appearance, e.g. milk is casein and fats molecules suspended in water[1].

Proteins can be defined as "soluble" or "insoluble" in water, but because they are very large molecules are more like emulsions - or colloids - where small solid molecules are suspended in water. Enzymes are soluble, globular proteins are soluble, but fibrous proteins can be either "soluble" or "insoluble".


  1. Hiskey, D. (2010) Why milk is white, Topday I Found Out, 12 October 2010, accessed 8 June 2016 [1]