1. Nearly all foods contain water. Dried foods may contain as little as a fraction of 1 percent water, but fresh meats, fish, vegetables, and fruits consist mostly of water.
2. Water exists in three states, solid (ice), liquid, and gas (water vapor or steam). At sea level, pure liquid water becomes solid, or freezes, at 32F (0C) and turns to steam at 212F (100C).When water molecules turn to steam and energetically escape into the atmosphere, water is said to be boiling.
3. Water can also turn from liquid to gas at lower temperatures.When water turns to gas at any temperature, the process is called evaporation. Evaporation happens more slowly the lower the temperature is. Evaporation is responsible for the drying of foods. The drying of food surfaces as they are cooked enables them to be browned.
4. Many minerals and other compounds dissolve in water, so water can be a carrier of flavor and of nutritional value.
5. When water carries dissolved compounds, such as salt or sugar, its freezing point is lowered and its boiling point is raised.
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