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Name: Alexis
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: LA
Date: January 2008

Why does a souffle' deflate? If sound vibrations or external forces occur, will a souffle' deflate?

The biggest reason is because it is cooling after you take it out of the oven. The hot gases inside it blow it up like a balloon. When you make a soufflé, you whip tiny air bubbles into it. Then, when it bakes, those air bubbles expand as they heat up. The egg proteins heat up too, and set when the get hot enough. The hot air, combined with the egg proteins, make the soufflé stay inflated -- for a while anyway. However, once the soufflé starts to cool, and therefore so does the air in the bubbles, the air will return to its original volume. Since the egg proteins are not strong enough to keep the soufflé standing without the hot air, the soufflé collapses. If you agitate the soufflé, you can break up the delicate protein matrix that supports the soufflé. This also can cause the soufflé to collapse. Agitation will make the collapse occur faster because even if it does not completely destroy the soufflé, agitation will still break some of the matrix, thus causing it to collapse sooner.

Hope this helps,

Burr Zimmerman


A souffle' is essentially a bunch of bubbles in egg white. If the bubbles burst or the gases within escape then the souffle' will flatten. Many things can cause the trapped gas to escape. Improper whisking so that the egg whites are not stiff, improper folding so that the bubbles are burst, improper cooking so that the egg whites have not cooked thoroughly before it is moved, etc.

Greg (Roberto Gregorius)

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