Date: Around 1993
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.
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.
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Update: June 2012