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Maceration is a word that derives from the Latin maceratus ("to soften"; past participle of macerare). It may refer to:

  • Maceration, in chemistry and herbalism, the preparation of an extract by soaking material (such as animal skins or parts of fibrous plants) in water, vegetable oil or some organic solvent. The word may also refer to the same process when used to produce perfume stock.
  • Maceration (wine), in viticulture, the steeping of grape skins and solids in must, where alcohol later acts as a solvent to extract colour, tannin and aroma from the skins during the wine fermentation process.
  • A macerator, in sewage treatment, a machine that reduces solids to small pieces in order to deal with rags and other solid waste.
  • Maceration (bone), a method of separating of bone from soft body tissue by controlled putrefaction.
  • A macerator, in chicken farming, a high-speed grinder used to slaughter unwanted male chicks in large numbers.
  • Maceration, in biology, is the mechanical grinding or kneading of semi-solid food in the stomach into chyme.
  • Maceration, in dermatology, is the softening and whitening of skin kept constantly wet, leaving it more vulnerable to infection or damage by tearing.

See also