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separation of plant or animal cells in the tissues. Natural maceration is the result of the dissolving of the intercellular substance. In plants maceration occurs in the flesh of ripening fruits (for example, privet, some varieties of apple, watermelons, and bananas), sometimes only after frosts (for example, in the fruits of medlar and sweetbrier), and also when separation layers form in leaf petioles (before leaf fall) and in fruit stems (before fruit fall). During anatomic research maceration is produced by treating sections or pieces of wood, leaves, roots, and the like with chromic acid or hot ammonia solution. Maceration is used in processing flax, manufacturing paper from wood, and other processes.
Maceration of animal tissues occurs when they are in contact with water for a long time. It is used in preparing skeletons and histological specimens by treating dead bodies or individual tissues with water, alkaline solutions, acid solutions, and other substances.