To separate liquids from solids, usually using a sieve.
Sieves are devices that make it possible to separate different elements from one another. They may be used in the preparation of food, the sorting of grains, and even in the filtering of different types of building materials. The type of sifting that takes place helps to define the size and general configuration of the device.
One of the most common examples of a kitchen sieve is the everyday colander. Colanders have a body that is perforated with a series of uniform holes. It is possible to use the colander to separate solid foods from liquids with relative ease. The device is also used to wash raw fruits and vegetables by placing the food in the colander, then running water over the food. As the water washes over the food, it picks up tiny contaminants and carries them away from the raw foods by expelling the water and the contaminants through the perforations.
The flour sifter is another example of a sieve used routinely in the kitchen. It makes it possible to sift flour so that only the finest flour particles are used in baking. Most flour sifters are equipped with some type of beaters that help to pulverize the larger particles, making them usable in the baking process.