Why does carrot dissolve in oil and not water?

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Trisha

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Why does carrot dissolve in oil and not water?
« on: 12/07/2010 10:30:02 »
Trisha asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why does carrot dissolve in oil and not water?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/07/2010 10:30:02 by _system »

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Offline Bored chemist

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Why does carrot dissolve in oil and not water?
« Reply #1 on: 12/07/2010 19:58:10 »
Carrots don't dissolve in water or in oil, but the orangey colour of carrots is caused by a chemical called carotene which is a lot more soluble in oil than it is in water.

The simple explanation is that carotene is fairly similar to the oil but rather different from the water.
The more complicated reason is that water molecules are attracted to one another by electrostatic forces that arise from their polar molecules. The carotene molecules get in the way of these forces so a carotene molecule in the middle of some water is always squeezed uot by the water molecules round it. The forces that hold the oil together are much weaker and also are similar to the forces that hold the carotene molecules together . |Because of this there's less energy needed to force a carotene molecule into some oil than into some water.
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Offline chris

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Why does carrot dissolve in oil and not water?
« Reply #2 on: 14/07/2010 08:53:21 »
Great answer.
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