Chemical and functional properties of food components by Zdzisław E Sikorski

By Zdzisław E Sikorski

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With the advent of supercomputers, a flood of quantitative studies on water structure based on quantum and statistical mechanics have been carried out. A number of models have been proposed in which more and more complicated structural units as liquid water components have been suggested (Starzak and Mathlouthi, 2003). According to a model proposed by Wiggins (1990, 2002), two types of structure can be distinguished: high-density water and low-density water. In the high-density water, the bent, relatively weak hydrogen bonds predominate over straight, stronger ones.

This is somewhat unexpected in that the popular conception is that humid air (which contains more water) is heavier than dry air. At room temperature, water has the highest specific heat of any inorganic or organic compound with the sole exception of ammonia. It is interesting to speculate why the most commonly occurring substance on this planet should have one of the highest specific heats. One of the consequences of this peculiarity in the food industry is that heating and cooling operations for essentially water-based foods are more energy demanding.

Such water may contain minerals and carbon dioxide naturally occurring or intentionally added, but may not contain sugars, sweeteners, flavorings, or other foodstuffs. No packaged water may contain substances that emit radioactivity in quantities that may be injurious to health. All packaged water shall comply with the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality published by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2004). Addition of minerals must comply with the relevant Codex standards. The standard distinguishes between “waters defined by origin,” which originate from a specific underground or surface resource and do not pass through a community water system, and “prepared waters,” which may originate from any supply.

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