We study the equation of state of quark matter at zero temperature, using the chiral-invariant color dielectric model to describe confinement. An exhaustive analysis of the various versions of the model has been performed, and the results are shown to discriminate among them. The deconfinement phase transition turns out to be smooth. Deconfinement and chiral symmetry restoration occur at very different densities. Instabilities of the quark matter and the gap equation are also discussed
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