Water is recognized as being a critically important determinant of the properties of many foods. It is therefore appropriate to devote a meeting to the topic. The first such meeting was organized by the late Ron Duckworth, and held in 1974 at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. As a result of this first meeting, the organization known as International Symposium on the Properties of Water (ISOPOW) was born, and since that first ISOPOW meeting there have been five international meetings. At each meeting, participants from academia and from industry have shared state of the science information pertinent to the role of water in foods. Each meeting has served as a review of the current state of knowledge. ISOPOW 6 is the first of these meetings where Ron Duckworth's presence has not been felt, though he clearly attended the meeting in spirit. A lively group of academics and industrial scientists assembled in Santa Rosa, California, to discuss the current state of the science. As meeting chairperson, I must acknowledge the tremendous contributions made by the organizing committee, by the session chairpersons and by the central committee. Without all their help, nothing could have been achieved. Most important to the success of the meeting, however, was the very active participation of all attendees. In all seven sessions, the papers were excellent and their discussion was very spirited.