Theoretical background

The basic theory behind the water-binding effects of the Optimal blends is threefold

Adjustment of pH, ionic strength and specific protein-water interactions contribute to the hydration of the proteins.

Lipid and water make up about 80% of the fish muscle. Water holding capacity of muscle is greatly influenced by structural changes in the muscle proteins, fibril swelling-contraction and the distribution of fluid between intra- and extra-cellular locations.

Swelling or contraction of muscle post-mortem and water-holding properties is strongly influenced by muscle pH and its ionic strength. This swelling occurs in a direction that is solely transverse to the major axis of the fibres. Minimum water-holding capacity occurs at the isoelectric point (pI = 5.2) of fish muscle, where the actomyosin has zero net charge. At lower or higher pH values the proteins have a positive or negative net charge and water-holding capacity increases due to increased repulsion force between similar charges which moves the myofilaments apart leaving more space to water.