proteins coagulating too strong, and not all of the collagen network would have had time to degrade,
so the fish will stay more together and not become so flaky.
Cooking time is reduced even further in the presence of acid, which helps coagulate the faster the fish
proteins. Therefore a source of acid is often added to a whole fish being cooked in a court-bouillon
because the combined effect of heat and acid speeds up the coagulation of the proteins.
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What we make from culinary ingredients: Emulsions
What is an emulsion?
The easy experiment of pouring oil in a glass with water shows that oil does not mix in water, in
ordinary conditions: a less dense layer of oil rests on the denser water.
However giving energy (e.g. by whisking) can disperse oil in water as droplets of a size that is
determined by the mixing energy. Such systems are called emulsions, from the latin word emulgere,
which means to draw milk (milk is indeed an emulsion).
There are two main types of emulsion that can be formed, depending on the nature of the disperse
phase, and the continuous phase. The most common sorts of emulsions are where droplets of the fat,
which occur in lower proportions, are suspended in the more abundant water phase. These types of
emulsions are naturally found in milk and cream. The other sort of emulsion is where water droplets
are disperse into oil.
In cookery terms…Often in the kitchen, especially when making sauces, fat (most commonly oil or
melted butter) is mixed with a source of water (such as lemon juice, stock or vinegar). Since the water
content in these sauces is usually more abundant than the fat content, these emulsions usually
contain fat droplets suspended in water.
How increasing the stability of emulsions?
Emulsions are never stable, but their “lifetime” can be increased by various means.
If a lot of energy is given to a dispersion of oil in water through shaking or whisking, the size of the fat
droplets in the emulsion is reduced. However, over time the fat droplets will eventually merge