Let us say you are cooking a curry. As water evaporates the minerals will become more and more concentrated in the curry's water but they will not deposit in the fat which would be at the top layer of the liquid. Regarding the minerals not depositing in the fat whilst water exists, is this correct?

Once you have evaporated all of the water which I imagine happens before any fat starts evaporating, would the minerals then deposit in the fat?

Is there a way to know by observation that water has evaporated and you are left with minerals and fat?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know what you mean by "deposit". Mineral content of tap water is minimal, and you can find it as solid precipitate once you boil water off. Minerals generally don't dissolve in fats or oils, so you find the minerals as white solid in the pan, as a powder or stuck on the wall $\endgroup$
    – Greg
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 1:42

1 Answer 1


Because dietary minerals are predominantly water soluble and not significantly soluble in fats, your first statement is correct; the minerals will not dissolve in the fats as you boil away the water. This is true even after all the water has boiled off, so the answer to your second question is no. As the water boils away, the minerals will precipitate out until no water remains. At that point, you will predominantly have the minerals at the bottom of the pan, covered in the fats. It is unlikely any of the minerals will have a low enough density to float on top of the fats. With mixing, you may be able to keep a suspension of the minerals within the fats even though they don't technically dissolve.

It will probably be difficult to tell exactly when all of the water is gone. There should be a difference in the appearance of the way the stuff boils once the water is gone and it's just fats boiling, but this could be a subtle change. You might be able to tell when the water is gone by monitoring the temperature of the mixture. It should stay close to the boiling point of water until the water is gone and then increase when you just have the fats boiling.

I'm far from a chef, so I hope I haven't made any improper assumptions on that front. Don't hesitate to ask for clarifications in the comments.

  • $\begingroup$ @James Wilson. I am a chemist not a cook, but I cannot recall any cooked food preparation in which one should evaporate ALL the water. I mean, even after barbecue there will be some water leaking at the surface of the meat. If the matter of your question is not loosing minerals, even in the case you concentrate so much that the salts precipitate, they will be finally dispersed (or could be finely disperded by spoon etc) in your fatty sauce or sticked to the aliments... Something like that. No worry much. $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Commented Oct 8, 2017 at 11:29

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