What would you predict the appearance of an egg to be after the following procedure is performed?

An an egg is soaked in a vinegar solution to remove the hard shell, leaving the inner membrane intact. The egg is then placed in a solution of salt water overnight. As part of your answer, explain what kind of solution the salt water is, relative to the egg's interior.

1 Answer
Jan 20, 2018

The egg will look as if it had been partially deflated, due to osmosis, which causes water to pass through the membrane surrounding the egg and into the higher concentration of the salt water outside.


Once the hard outer shell has been dissolved, the interior of the egg is contained within a semipermeable membrane.

The salt water is a solution with a higher concentration of particles than the liquid white of the egg, and osmosis will result in water being removed from the egg an passing into the salt solution. THis is because collisions of water molecules inside of the egg will happen at a greater rate that similar collisions outside the egg.

As a result, the amount of water in the egg will decrease, and the egg will take on an appearance of being somewhat deflated or shrunken.