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Nanofood As Weapons Of Mass Destruction. Norma L. Rangel. Nanotechnology in Food Science. image from : APPLICATIONS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY IN FOOD. Food Packaging - ‘ Active’ or ‘intelligent’ packaging

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nanotechnology in food science
Nanotechnology in Food Science

image from :

applications of nanotechnology in food
  • Food Packaging

- ‘Active’ or ‘intelligent’ packaging

  • Food Processing: Taste and Texture

- For example, nanoparticle emulsions to improve texture (trickling agents) and reduce fat content

  • Functional Foods

- Nanocapsulesenclosing nutrients such as vitamins or Omega 3 fatty acids (‘nanoceuticals’) for release into body when required

selected categories of nanotechnology applied to food and agriculture
Selected Categories of Nanotechnology Applied to Food and Agriculture

Smart and precision ag

Kuzma, JNR 2007

nanotechnology in the food market
Nanotechnology in the Food Market
  • Nanotechnology offers considerable opportunities for the development of innovative products and applications for agriculture, water treatment, food production, processing, preservation and packaging
  • It is expected that nanotechnology-derived food products will be increasingly available to consumers worldwide in the coming years.
human health
Human Health
  • The impact on human health will depend on whether and how the consumer is exposed to such materials eventually, and whether these materials will behave differently compared to their conventional, larger dimensioned, counterparts .
assessment of human health risks
Assessment of human health risks
  • As the size of the particles decreases, the specific surface area increases
    • This results in novel features that are determined by the high surface-to-volume ratio, which may also give rise to altered toxicity profiles.
  • The effects and interactions of engineered nanomaterialsare characterized in the relevant food matrix.
  • Consider life cycle aspects in the risk assessment of engineered Nanomaterialswhich may result in indirect human exposure
steps in risk assessment
Steps in Risk Assessment
  • Hazard Identification- scientific review
  • Specify Dose response- establish upper level
  • Intake /Exposure assessment
  • Risk characterization- public health impact
  • Too little nutrients and too much nutrients – both are safety issues
  • Nutrient risk assessments have to be life stage specific eg adolescents, lactating.
outbreak handling mechanisms early detection and traceability
  • Enhance surveillance and build an early warning system.
  • Equip Central and other state health departments with state of the art technology – Rapidly Diagnose, Track, Communicate, Control and Prevent
  • Create a national electronic network for rapid finger print comparison.
  • Improve responses to food borne outbreaks -states and other governmental bodies with expertise and resources should share responsibility for outbreak response.
  • Establish inter-state governmental food borne outbreak response coordinating group
  • Impose risk assessment and establish an interagency risk assessment consortium.
outbreak handling mechanisms early detection and traceability10
  • Develop new research methods that are rapid cost effective for presence of food pathogens.
  • Document emerging pathogen resistance and develop techniques for prevention and control of pathogens.
  • Improve inspection, compliance
  • Strict implementation of HACCP wherever necessary (processed foods, meat products). Preventive measures for fresh fruits, juices, milk, milk products and other high risk commodities.
  • Identify preventive measures to address public health problems associated with produce, eg. Staphycococcus, salmonella in khoa, hepatitis A in frozen strawberries. These measures will be identified by inspection, sampling and analytical methods.
  • Mandatory Food safety education and licensing of all stake holders, starting from producers to consumers.
food safety and bioterrorism
  • The US FDA has listed the following pathogens or pathogen products that could be used in biological warfare:
    • Smallpox (variola)
    • Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
    • Plague (yersiniapestis)
    • Tularemia (Francisellatularensis)
    • Brucellosis (Brucellaabortus)
    • Q fever (Coxiellaburnellii)
    • Botulism toxin (produced by clostridium botulinun)
    • Staphylococcal enterotoxin B
  • New products to diagnose, counter and treat these public health threats
  • Creation of civil emergency group to tackle emergencies.
  • Create awareness among food handlers and follow practices of basic food safety handling
safety concerns following food processing

Safety of bottled water

  • Water source
  • Piping treatment process and bottling equipment
  • GMP
  • Packaging
  • Quality control system

Safety of soft drinks

  • Microbial contamination
  • Packaging material
  • Chemicals, additives
  • Equipment used in processing
  • Formation of mutagens / carcinogens like Nitrosamines in foods and beverages
safety of botanicals in traditional foods
  • Different types of products fall under the umbrella of “natural products with health benefits”.
  • Supplements or foods containing high levels of nutrients or other compounds can have effects on presence of other nutrients in adequate amounts. This can occur as a result of
      • destruction of nutrients
      • reduction of availability of nutrients
      • inference with utilization of nutrients
      • decrease in food intake
safety of botanicals in traditional foods14

Traditional foods are considered safe as they have long history of use. However, if they are modified by processing or by any other method their substantial equivalence and nutrient content analysis has to be done.

Method for safe preparation of some plants such as cassava are known in cultures that depend on it as a staple but its introduction into a naïve market place could cause cyanide poisoning.

Canned ackee fruit is prohibited into US until a quality assurance that toxic levels of hypoglycin is not present in product is given

food contact with substances

Packaging innovation to ensure food safety as certain components of packing like printing inks, labels, colours, seals can affect food quality.

Innovative packaging like vaccum packaging, controlled atmosphere or modified atmospheric packaging (CAP or MAP). MAP involves sealing package under vaccum or one time gas flushing and sealing. Three types of gases may be used singly or in combination namely nitrogen, carbondioxide and oxygen.

Active Packaging – includes additives capable of scavenging or absorbing oxygen, CO2, ethylene, moisture, odour and flavours. May have powder sachet of iron and calcium hydroxide.

intelligent packaging
Intelligent Packaging

Provides way to monitor and relay information regarding the status of contents and verifies information. Food packaging manufacturers have developed several innovative intelligent packages that include time, temperature indicators, antitheft and use RFID devices.

Toxicity testing of food packaging materials have to be done in animals as human data are rarely available.

materials other than plastic
Materials other than plastic
  • Glass – has been used for many years, may result in leaching of lead.
  • Ceramics – may result in leaching of heavy metals particularly when in contact with acidic beverages like fruit juices.
  • Cans – food packed in tin cans with lead soldered seams are a source of a number of metals, including lead, chromium, tin and cadmium.
  • Safety assessment of food packaging material requires knowledge of chemical toxicity, migration and technological developments.
  • Human exposure data can be collected wherever possible
agrifood nano products on market
AgrifoodNano-Products on Market

Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies consumer inventory

  • Storage of food with Ag antimicrobial
  • Cocoa delivery with little sugar
  • Cooking Oil Quality--nanoceramic
  • Nanoclay barriers to O2 and CO2
  • Omega-3 bakery products
  • Lycopene BASF
  • Glycerin micelles to remove pesticides
  • Micelles for functional food
  • Geohumus Soil wetting agent
  • PrimoMAXXSyngenta (plant growth regulator)
  • Several dietary supplements
nano encapsulation
Nano Encapsulation

Canola Active Oil

‘Tip-Top Up’ - Omega 3 Bread

  • nanocapsules with tuna fish oil
  • nanocapsules break only in the stomach
  • nanoencapsulation of fortified phytosterols
  • - reduce cholesterol intake by 14%

Source: Shemen Industries, Israel

Source: Tip Top Bakery, Australia

nano composites
Nano Composites

Lighter and stronger

Minimizes loss of CO2 from Beer

Nano food-packaging film (Bayer Polymer Inc)

Nanoclay particle based Beer Bottle (Nanocor Inc)

nano bioluminescence detection spray
Nano Bioluminescence Detection Spray

Nanoengineered luminescent protein emits a visible glow to the surface of Salmonella and E.Coli

Source: AgroMicron Ltd.

nano electronic tongue
Nano-Electronic Tongue

Nano- Electronic Tongue

Quality control for beverages by electronic tongue

Source: Kraft foods

nano agro chemicals
Nano Agro- chemicals
  • Timely released
  • Time controlled
  • Spatially targeted
  • Regulated
  • Responsive and
  • effective Delivery

Nano Plant Growth Regulator

Nano Fungicide

Source: Syngenta Corporation

nano management for farm production
Nano Management for Farm Production
  • InjectableNano-chips for Animal Tracking
  • Nano-Eugenics - Remotely Regulating Animals
  • Nanosensors and Drug Delivery Systems for Animals
  • Nano-Bo-Peep for health monitoring of Crops and Animals
  • Nanosystems for Identity Preservation and Tracking
current regulation of nanotechnology in food
  • No dedicated EU or US legislation (for food or otherwise)
  • Indirect regulation of products or processes incorporating nanotechnology, not of nano-technology component itself
  • Existing ‘precautionary approach’ prior approval food legislation (process/product specific)
pathogen and contaminant detection
Pathogen and Contaminant Detection
  • Or sensors which can slow decomposition and detect pathogens before your nose does.

Imagine using nanotechnology to create self-healing materials or coatings that can modify agricultural materials or packaging to prevent microbial contamination;

tracking crops and products
Tracking Crops and Products
  • Traceable nanotags and food quality sensors could
  • Improve food quality, taste and nutritional value
  • Preserve foods and extend nutritional stability

food poisoning
Food Poisoning

scientists are eager to develop nanosizedgeotracers that enable users to locate precisely the origin of agricultural products.

In the wake of widespread food poisoning scares in spinach, tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers,

nanoscience in molecular and cell biology
Nanosciencein Molecular and Cell Biology

Nanotechnology is making revolutionary changes within cells which will improve agriculture and the food industry in amazing ways.

  • Develop surfaces that select, reject or bond to molecules based on nanotechnology.
  • Develop better soil additives, fertilizers, pesticides, and soil conditioners.
  • FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on the Application of Nanotechnologies in the Food and Agriculture Sectors: Potential Food Safety Implications, Meeting 2009.
  • Nanotechnologies and Food, Authority of the House of Lords. January 2010. Volume I & II
  • Regulation of Nanotechnology in Food, Craig Simpson, Attorney, 14 June 2007
  • Nanotechnology in Agriculture and Food Technology
  • Emerging Issues in Food Safety, Dr KalpagamPolasa, Ph. D. Scientist and Dr. B. Sesikeran
  • Nanotechnology for Food, Agricultural, and Biosystems Industry, Suresh Neethirajan, 2007
  • Agrifood Nanotechnology: Upstream Assessment of Risk and Oversight, Prof. Jennifer Kuzma, Center for Science, Technology, and Public Policy Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota. 2008