# How does boiling water extract dyes from vegetables?

Why does boiling water always seem to release and become the colors of whatever vegetables I am boiling?

For example, beet root and red cabbage both vividly color hot water.

I'd assume it's something to do with collisions with water particles breaking down cell walls and releasing a pigment, but how would this work on a physical level?

• I believe this is a Chemistry question. – QuantumBrick Oct 17 '16 at 16:07
• @QuantumBrick I'm very interested in analysing it from a physics perspective, specifically that of how the kinetic energies of the particles in the water succeed in breaking down the solid cell wall. – theonlygusti Oct 17 '16 at 16:10
• cross post at: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/52533/… – setempler Oct 19 '16 at 7:22

These dyes (NOT pigments$^*$) are highly water soluble. As you pointed out, boiling causes cell walls to rupture, releasing the cell plasma into the water. Boiling of the plasma fluid causes pressure build up, something the cell walls aren't designed to withstand.
$^*$ pigments are inorganic substances (many are refined minerals) and mostly insoluble in water.