Osmotic properties of polysaccharides’ solutions and associated biopolymer-solvent and biopolymer-biopolymer type interaction are very important from a technological point of view. The knowledge of osmotic properties of these systems provides the basis to appropriate use of polysaccharides having comply with the relevant technology functions, impart the appropriate texture and forming the sensory properties of the final product. Furthermore, an important issue is the effect of time on the osmotic properties of polysaccharides’, because with time, the aforementioned effects may change. Membrane osmometry is one of the methods used in the studies of synthetic polymers to determine their average molecular mass and the degree of interaction between a polymer and a solvent. This method is successfully applied in the case of biopolymers that include polysaccharides. The existence of the osmotic pressure, formed by diffusion of solvent molecules through a semi-permeable membrane, is the basis of this method. Analysis and interpretation of osmometric research results is based on the van’t Hoff equation dependency of the concentration. The second virial coefficient obtained based on this relation allows characterisation of biopolymer-solvent interactions, and thus biopolymer tendency to solvation. The third virial coefficient provides information on mutual interactions between the biopolymer molecules, as well as its tendency to aggregate.
Part of the book: Solubility of Polysaccharides