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bio chemistry question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 23, 2022 07:06PM
or whatever this is.

I buy TJs raw unsalted almond butter and sweeten with a Tbsp of maple syrup. Great combo and I control the sweet level.
The almond butter out of the jar is very oily, even stirring the oil back in.
But add the syrup and it thickens up immediately.
Anyone explain why liquid added to liquid-y gets thicker?
What is the reaction between the oil and syrup?



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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: July 23, 2022 07:41PM
When you stir a sugar (which is essentially what syrup is) into a non-liquid oil or fat, the sugar crystals create a minute foam whose air bubbles cause a chemical reaction that expands the oil-based medium making it seem thicker. It is the same as creaming butter and sugar.



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"Those who cannot accept the past are condemned to revise it." -- Geo. Mathias
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 23, 2022 07:43PM
thanks Ombligo, Just didn't make sense to my 12th grade science experience.



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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: July 24, 2022 01:11AM
But creaming butter and sugar together takes time and some effort, it's not clear that you did anything other than drop some syrup in and give a quick stir. No?
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 24, 2022 06:22AM
yup, that was all I did. Not a quick stir but certainly not the level of creaming. But sound good to me.



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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: JoeH
Date: July 24, 2022 02:45PM
Quote
Fritz
yup, that was all I did. Not a quick stir but certainly not the level of creaming. But sound good to me.

It does not take as much stirring to just mix them, and the result is much the same. Part of the reason most commercial non-natural peanut butter includes a sugar in the ingredients. Between the partially hydrogenated vegetable oil instead of peanut oil and the sugar it thickens and stays a paste. Sweetened natural peanut butter also doesn't separate as much.
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Diana
Date: July 24, 2022 04:21PM
This really is isn't biochemistry, nor really any form of chemistry, but rather physics.* I hope that I'm making sense, and yes, it is a bit of a generalization.

Let me start with a bit of language: solute and solvent. Solutes are things that are dissolved into solvents. If you get to the point where the solute is more than the solvent, then the two terms flip: the solute is always less than the solvent in a solution. If they are fifty/fifty, state which one is what. And "liquid" can be, in broad terms, liquids, solids, or gases: gases can be thought of as dilute liquids; liquids of course you already know; solids are just very thick liquids. With this in mind:

What you are describing is one of two (related) things:

1. Emulsification, in which two or more "liquids" come together but never really mix. Emulsions tend to form when you have things that are not necessarily molecularly attracted to one another. Creaming butter and sugar together is an example as the sugar does not dissolve into the butter. Anything IN the solute/solvent system can sometimes aid in emulsification and can cause it to form (and to be stable). An emulsion takes a bit to form, and it can either be stable or not. It is commonly made by shaking two liquids together in a closed container with air in it. In this case, the air gets trapped in the emulsion, and becomes the solute in the solvent of the liquid/liquids. Not all combinations, however, will form an emulsion. You can also form an emulsion with two liquids: the solute will form balls of itself within the solvent, like tiny air bubbles. This is either stable or not; you can think of oil and vinegar here. You can beat the two of them together, and it will form an emulsion, but it isn't very stable (by itself). In this case, it takes an emulsifying agent to help it along.

2. Molecular interactions. In this case, the "liquids" come together and actually mix: there are no bubbles of one liquid into another, as above. It has much to do with the physical shape of the molecules in question. An example here would be a stack of pebbles: if they are all round, like marbles, they won't stack but flow over one another with no attraction to one another. However, if they are flattened they roll much less and are much more likely to stack. Any movement of the solution of the two liquids can be thought of as the same as "stacking the pebbles" as the two molecules still will need to slide across one another. Increasing molecular interactions result in increasing viscosity. This is true within a (somewhat) narrow band of concentrations; enough solute to interact with enough solvent and you get increasing viscosity, and as you get toward the edges of this region you get less interactions and less viscosity.

*I know there are folks who will disagree with me, but biology depends on chemistry, and chemistry depends on physics. There is no biology happening without chemistry, and there is no chemistry happening without physics. And mathematics is the language of it all.
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 24, 2022 07:12PM
Diana, are you my high school chem teacher?
She was very clear and into the subject.
I never got to physics, unfortunately.
Seems like the 3 sciences were taught in reverse.
Earth science, bio, chem, then physics.

Great explanation!. So this is more molecular interaction?



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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: btfc
Date: July 24, 2022 07:24PM
“ Great explanation! “

Yet another excellent Diana post!
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 24, 2022 07:36PM
Yeah, that polar and non-polar stuff was annoying to learn. Then came emulsions…



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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: gadje
Date: July 24, 2022 08:27PM
Quote
Diana
...

*I know there are folks who will disagree with me, but biology depends on chemistry, and chemistry depends on physics. There is no biology happening without chemistry, and there is no chemistry happening without physics. And mathematics is the language of it all.


beautiful.

Thanks, really well said.
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Diana
Date: July 24, 2022 11:45PM
Quote
Fritz
Diana, are you my high school chem teacher?
She was very clear and into the subject.
I never got to physics, unfortunately.
Seems like the 3 sciences were taught in reverse.
Earth science, bio, chem, then physics.

Great explanation!. So this is more molecular interaction?

No, I'm not your high school chem teacher smiley-laughing001 !

I never taught in public school, only college/university for a bit. I enjoyed it, and then life got in the way. That is another story for another day.

Yeah, it seems like the three sciences are taught in reverse, until you consider that you have to start somewhere AND that it is easier to teach concrete things to concrete thinkers than it is the more esoteric. Let's face it, we ALL start off life as concrete thinkers and it takes both intellectual maturity and time to get out of that phase (some never do). It's easier to catch folks' imaginations and then tell them "remember when I told you this-and-such? Well, I kinda lied..." and then give a more complete explanation of the WHY things happen and not just that they do. Later, as the student grows in their comprehension and thinking skills, then you can (once again) tell them "well, I kinda lied .... " and then give them a more detailed explanation. This drives some people nuts, but if the more true and much fuller explanation is over your head, does it really do anything? it only frustrates, and makes people think that whatever subject is "not for them" because "it's too hard."

I don't care if someone is 7 years old, or 70: as long as you keep learning. You never learn if you never stretch you mind.

Edit: because I forgot the question! Yes, it is a molecular interaction. The two molecules are not combining and forming a new compound, as they can still be separated by some physical means.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2022 11:50PM by Diana.
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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: Fritz
Date: July 25, 2022 07:09AM
I dug science, wish I'd stayed for physics.
But I wanted to make records.

Alas, like a great many of my peers, I ended up making [bad] TV where I'm seldom learning stretched Patience, practicality & are you fkn kidding?, yes. But learning no.
Thankfully, along came IP audio & Dolby Atmos.



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Re: bio chemistry question
Posted by: dk62
Date: July 26, 2022 07:13AM
Quote
Diana

Yeah, it seems like the three sciences are taught in reverse, until you consider that you have to start somewhere AND that it is easier to teach concrete things to concrete thinkers than it is the more esoteric. Let's face it, we ALL start off life as concrete thinkers and it takes both intellectual maturity and time to get out of that phase (some never do). It's easier to catch folks' imaginations and then tell them "remember when I told you this-and-such? Well, I kinda lied..." and then give a more complete explanation of the WHY things happen and not just that they do. Later, as the student grows in their comprehension and thinking skills, then you can (once again) tell them "well, I kinda lied .... " and then give them a more detailed explanation. This drives some people nuts, but if the more true and much fuller explanation is over your head, does it really do anything? it only frustrates, and makes people think that whatever subject is "not for them" because "it's too hard."

Yes, I was shocked when I took an elective in college and learned that all the physics and physical chemistry equations I learned in high school can be derived from just a few differential equations present in quantum mechanics. Extremely elegant and esoteric at the same time.
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