In considering the "stability" of an emulsion, it is extremely important to distinguish between its thermodynamic stability and its kinetic stability (Dickinson 1992). Thermodynamics tells us whether or not a given process will occur, whereas kinetics tells us the rate at which it will proceed if it does occur (Atkins 1994). All food emulsions are thermodynamically unstable systems and will eventually break down if they are left long enough. For this reason, it is differences in kinetic stability which are largely responsible for the diverse range of properties exhibited by different food emulsions.
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