Protein Chemistry

Albumen is mixture of different proteins dispersed in water. Use of albumen for the creation of albumen photographs alters this mixture to achieve specific working properties. The many articles presented below from the field of food science provide insight into unique properties of albumen and its constituent proteins that have a bearing on albumen processing for photography. For example Cunninham's 1976 paper Properties of Egg Foam Drainage describes how albumen is altered through frothing and drainage, two of the first steps used by photographers as they prepared albumen for making photographic prints. In addition, many of these articles give insights into the way albumen prints deteriorate with age. Messier's 1991 paper entitled Protein Chemistry of Albumen Photographs provides a general overview of the protein chemsitry and a brief description of proposed deterioration mechanisms.