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3) where D is the diffusion coefficient, kB is the Boltzmann constant, T is the temperature, η is the solution viscosity, and aH is the molecule radius (Nossal and Lecar, 1991). Similarly, studies utilizing NMR techniques show that there is a species of associated water that has a different character than water in the bulk phase. 45 g of H2O are associated with each gram of protein. The hydration forces can stabilize macromolecular association or prevent macromolecular interactions with a strength that depends on the surface characteristic of the molecules and the ionic composition of the medium.

The addition of any substance to water results in altered properties of that substance and of the water itself. Solutes cause a change in water properties because the hydrate envelopes that are formed around dissolved molecules are more organized and therefore more stable than the flickering clusters of free water. The properties of solutions that depend on a solute and its concentration are different from those of pure water. The differences can be seen in such phenomena as the freezing point depression, boiling point elevation, and increased osmotic pressure of solutions.

Hydration shells or icebergs associated with one or the other phase are destroyed or created in this interaction and often contribute to conformational changes in macromolecular structures—and ultimately to changes in biological and functional properties important in food processing. Biophysical processes involving membrane transport are also influenced by hydration. The size of the hydration shell surrounding small ions and the presence of water in the cavities of ionic channels or in the defects between membrane lipids strongly affect the rates at which the ions cross a cell membrane.

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