Solutions Suspensions Colloids
Appearance Clear, transparent and homogeneous Cloudy, heterogeneous, at least two substances visible Cloudy but uniform and homogeneous
Particle Size molecule in size larger than 10,000 Angstroms 10-1000 Angstroms
Effect of Light (Tyndall Effect) none -- light passes through, particles do not reflect light variable light is dispersed by colloidal particles
Effect of Sedimentation none particles will eventually 
settle out

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In summary:

A solution is always transparent, light passes through with no scattering from solute particles which are molecule in size. The solution is homogeneous and does not settle out. A solution cannot be filtered but can be separated using the process of distillation.

A suspension is cloudy and heterogeneous. The particles are larger than 10,000 Angstroms which allows them to be filtered. If a suspension is allowed to stand the particles will separate out.

A colloid is intermediate between a solution and a suspension. While a suspension will separate out a colloid will not. Colloids can be distinguished from solutions using the Tyndall effect. Light passing through a colloidal dispersion, such as smoky or foggy air, will be reflected by the larger particles and the light beam will be visible. A hydrocolloid can simply be defined as a substance that forms a gel when it comes in contact with water. Such substances include both polysaccharides and proteins .