Asked by 11danjup to James, Marcus, Martin, Rob, Suzanne on 16 Mar 2012.
Keywords: food, state
Actually, it’s a colloidal solution, which is solid particles suspended in a liquid. That’s why it can flow like a liquid and take the shape of it’s container, but if you put pressure on it, all the solid parts lock together and it starts behaving like a solid. I think it does this because of the shapes of the solid parts. They’re sharp rather than smooth, so they lock together under pressure rather than just rolling past each other.
The only thing I’ll add is this video. If you have a swiming pool handy give it a go. Custard is one of my favourite food stuffs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN2D5y-AxIY
Ah it depends on whether you mean custard in custard tarts. Because that’s more like a solid than a liquid! The proteins in the egg stick to one another and make a sort of lattice with water trapped inside.
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