Scientists Say: Colloid
Milk, fog and jelly have more in common than you think.
Colloid (noun, “KAHL-oyd”)
A colloid is any material in which tiny particles of one substance are spread through a larger volume of another substance. The tiny particles do not dissolve. Colloids come in many forms. Fog is a colloid in which drops of liquid water are spread through the air. Milk is a colloid, in which globs of fat stay suspended in watery fluid. Even jelly is a colloid, in which bits of sweetened fruit sit suspended in water and a thickener called pectin.
In a sentence
When people try to make tasty gluten-free baked goods, they sometimes add colloids to them to make them springy.
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colloid A material in which tiny insoluble particles are spread throughout a larger volume of another substance. Colloids take many forms. Smoky air is a colloid. So is fog. Milk is a colloid, with tiny globs of butterfat suspended throughout the liquid. Whipped cream is a colloid too. Colloids typically don’t separate into their individual components over time.
pectin A water soluble substance that binds adjacent cell walls in plant tissue. Pectins also serve as a thickener in making jams and jellies.
suspension A mixture in which particles are dispersed throughout the bulk of a fluid.