Water Dictionary

The Chef’s Water Dictionary
By Suhas Rao and Johnny Guemple
Table of Contents
Hydrogen Bond
Surface Tension
Capillary Action
Universal Solvent
Specific Heat
Water Cycle
 Noun – (Po-lare-ih-tee)
 Definition – The characteristic of having
oppositely charged poles
 Use in Cooking – Opposite poles are attracted to
each other, which is why water bonds easily.
Because of water’s polarity, large amounts of
water molecules are able to stick together to
form a cohesive whole, which allows water to be
used as an ingredient in various foods. Also, it
allows water to bond with other polar substances
Hydrogen Bond
Noun – (hi-druh-jin bond)
Definition – The bond that forms between
water molecules as a result of their oppositely
charged poles being attracted to each other
 Use in Cooking – Because of water molecules’
ability to combine with others of their kind,
they are able to form a cohesive whole. This
makes it easier for water to be used as an
ingredient in food.
 Noun – (den-sih-tee)
 Definition – A measure of how tightly packed or compact
something is; represented by [unit(s) of mass per unit(s) of volume]
 Water has a density of 1 g/ml
 An interesting property of water is that the solid form (ice) has a
lower density than the liquid and floats on top of it, a rare
 Use in Cooking - When you are cooking with water, you need to
know the density of water and the density of the food. If the food is
less dense than water, it will float above the surface. If it is more
dense than water, it will sink and you will be able to combine the
substances more easily to form sauces and the like.
Surface Tension
 Noun – (sur-fiss ten-shen)
 Definition – A property of liquids that makes them form
thin layers of “elastic wrap” on the surface that resist
substances from entering
 Use in Cooking – When adding seasonings to water, they
will sometimes sit on top of the surface. This is because of
water’s surface tension, which the seasonings cannot
penetrate unless we stir them in. One example of this is
cooking Ramen Noodles. When the spices and green leaves
are first poured in, they sit on top of the water. However,
we know that this is not because of their density being
lower than that of water’s, since they sink when you stir
them in.
 Noun – (ad-he-zhen)
 Definition – The property of water that allows it
to stick to other polar substances
 This is the reason for why water forms a
meniscus. The water molecules stick to the sides
of the container.
 Use in Cooking – Because of adhesion, water
sticks to the interior of a container rather than
forming a bubble like it does when poured on a
flat surface. This makes sure that your food is
fully covered and cooked properly.
Noun – (co-he-zhen)
Definition – The property of water that allows
it to stick to other water molecules
Use in Cooking – Cohesion makes it so that
water falls in droplets rather than individual
little molecules, which saves you quite a bit of
time while cooking. Can you imagine having to
add molecule by molecule of water?
Capillary Action
 Noun – (kah-puh-leh-ree ack-shen)
 Definition – The property of water that makes it
rise in narrow tubes and be drawn into small
openings; it is an extension of adhesion.
 Use in Cooking – When you are cooking, capillary
action causes water to enter into the tiny
openings in food, which will cook it more
thoroughly. Also, while you fill glasses or cups of
water, the way that they climb up the sides is an
example of capillary action.
Universal Solvent
Noun – (yoo-nih-vur-sull sawl-vent)
Definition – Water is known as the universal
solvent because it is able to dissolve more
solutes than any other substance
 Use in Cooking – Because of water’s
versatility as a solvent, it can be used to create
various drinks, soups, and other liquid foods
by dissolving different solutes.
Specific Heat
 Noun – (spuh-siff-ick heet)
 Definition – The amount of heat required to raise the
temperature of one unit of a particular substance by
one degree Celsius
 Water’s specific heat is 4.186 joules/gram °C
 The specific heat of water plays an important role in
the natural environment. Because water’s specific heat
capacity is so high, the water vapor in the atmosphere
helps to regulate the Earth’s temperature.
 Use in Cooking – It is essential to know the specific
heat of water in cooking to determine how high you
need to turn the heat in order for water to boil
Water Cycle
 Noun – (wha-tur sigh-kull)
 Also known as the hydrologic cycle
 Definition – The regular, continuous path that water follows as it travels through
the environment. In a basic form, it is as follows -The sun heats up water, making it evaporate into the atmosphere
-Plants transpire out water that they bring upwards from their roots
-This water vapor condenses with dust particles suspended in the atmosphere to
form clouds
-Eventually, the condensed droplets become too heavy to remain in the
atmosphere and fall. This is known as precipitation. The water can come down in
the form of sleet, hail, snow, rain.
-Water collects in oceans, rivers, streams, and lakes, as well as pools known as
surface run-off
-The cycle repeats itself infinitely
 Use in Cooking – Two of the main phases of the water cycle, evaporation and
condensation, take place during cooking. When you bring water to the heat where
it starts to boil, some of it is turning into vapor and evaporating. If you cook rice,
the lid starts to condense with water droplets because of the water inside the
cooker that’s evaporating.
 The specific heat of water (4.186 joules/gram °C) is known as the calorie, a
widely used unit of heat
 Water consumption can decrease risk of certain cancers
 Only about .3% of all the water on earth can be used by humans
 The U.S. by itself uses 346 billion gallons of fresh water per day
 The average U.S. citizen uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day – most
of this comes from flushing the toilet
 Water makes up approximately 70% of a human’s body
 The weight you lose after exercise is from water
 Water’s pH level is 7
 The vast majority of foods/drinks contain some amount of water
 You should consume about 8 cups of water per day
 Drinking too much water can cause water intoxication, which negatively affects
brain functions
 An average person can drink a maximum of 3 gallons of water per day – that’s
6 times as much as recommended

similar documents