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Any of a diverse class of proteins historically defined by their ability to dissolve in water and in a half-saturated (seesaturation) solution of ammonium sulfate. They are readily coagulated by heating. Examples include serum albumin, a major component of plasma; -lactalbumin, found in milk; ovalbumin, which makes up about half the proteins of egg white; and conalbumin, another egg-white protein. Ovalbumin is used commercially in the food, wine, adhesives, paper coatings, pharmaceutical, and other industries and in research.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on albumin, visit Britannica.com.