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Name: cdahncke
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1993


Question:
I need to know why an egg that has been "rubberize" by soaking it in a vinegar solution will gain in weight and size when soaked in water, and shrink when soaked in corn syrup.



Replies:
This has to do with osmotic pressure and the concentration of solutes in a solution. When you rubberize an egg, you allow it to change size when it gains or loses water. Soaking it in water, which has fewer solutes (salts usually) than the egg does, will cause water to rush into the egg to surround the solutes in the egg. This is because a system has a tendency to reach an equilibrium. The concentration of solutes in the egg will decrease as water goes into it, and the concentration of solutes in the water will increase as the solutes in the egg are leached out. Similarly, corn syrup has a very high concentration of solutes (sugars). The corn syrup is a solution that will pull water out of the egg, causing it to shrink.

Jim Murray



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