Nanotechnology And Food: FDA Speaks Out. Will Industry Act To Avoid The PR Mistakes Made In Introducing GMOs To The General Public?
Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, April 24, 2012
During the course of my father’s battle with pancreatic cancer, I constantly came across references to the future use of nanotechnology in medicine. From nanoparticles specially engineered to deliver chemotherapy to nanobots that would one day give us virtual immortality by constantly keeping our bodies in repair, nanotechnology promises to change the world as we know it.
Nanoscience and nanotechnology are new frontiers of this century. Their applications to the agriculture and food sector are relatively recent compared with their use in drug delivery and pharmaceuticals. Smart delivery of nutrients, bioseparation of proteins, rapid sampling of biological and chemical contaminants and nanoencapsulation of nutraceuticals are some of the emerging topics of nanotechnology for food and agriculture.
Advances in technologies, such as DNA microarrays, microelectromechanical systems and microï¬‚uidics, will enable the realization of the potential of nanotechnology for food applications. In this review, we intended to summarize the applications of nanotechnology relevant to food and nutraceuticals together with identifying the outstanding challenges…
Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly important for the food sector. Promising results and applications are already being developed in the areas of food packaging and food safety. The incorporation of nanomaterials into food packaging is expected to improve the barrier properties of packaging materials and should thereby help to reduce the use of valuable raw materials and the generation of waste. Edible nanolaminates could ï¬nd applications in fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery products and confectionery, where they might protect the food from moisture, lipids, gases, off-ï¬‚avors and odors
One of the top areas of research is the development of nanosensors, which would be placed in packaging and would detect microorganisms including pathogens. Forget test-and-hold — these products would monitor the produce continuously until it is consumed. Every fresh-cut company of size should have R&D efforts focused in this area. One wonders if the Center for Produce Safety couldn’t fund some research to accelerate applications in this area,