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Taciturnu's avatar

(attn: kitchen scientists! ) Why does tahini thicken when a liquid is added?

Asked by Taciturnu (6037points) May 13th, 2014

I always wonder what makes tahini thicken when I add a thin liquid to make dressing. It seems odd because it doesn’t happen if I add oil (of course the tahini has oil in it) but oil doesn’t get thicker if added to another liquid. Does anyone know what causes this curious phenomenon?

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4 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

My guess would be is tahini is dried and crushed sesame seeds mixed in oil and when you add water the seeds will rehydrate and swell up. The seed powder will not absorb the oil but it will absorb the water when you mix it in.

josie's avatar

It’s an emulsion. Like mayonnaise.

Taciturnu's avatar

Thanks!! It was one of those silly questions that plagued me.

El_Cadejo's avatar

As @josie said, it’s an emulsion. Another example to mayo would be vinegar and oil, once mixed they will be much thicker than either of the two separately.

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