View All Molecular Gastronomy Glossary

Soluble

What is Soluble?

Taken from the Latin term soluvere, meaning to melt or loosen, soluble refers to the ability to become dissolved in a solvent such as water. Solutes such as solids, liquid and gaseous chemical substances have the capability to be made liquid, forming a homogenous mixture.

This happens in solids when molecules become individual ions and are transported into the solvent as result of crystal lattice breakdown. On the other hand, dissolution in gaseous chemical substances and liquids occurs when these are compatible with the solvent.

The solubility of a substance is dependent on the involvement of thermodynamic energies and its variables. Factors such as the heat of the solution, pressure applied and composition of the soluble element are some variables which may affect the process. The solubility of a substance may range from being purely soluble to poorly soluble. It should be noted that particle size and kinetics do not affect solubility. With enough time, even large sized particles which are soluble will become dissolved.