Is Nanotechnology found in food?

Recently, applications of nanotechnology are in the lime light in all the sectors including food and nutrition. Food nanotechnology is becoming new frontiers of this century. The applications of nanotechnology in food and agriculture sector are comparatively more recent than the nano-drugs and nanopharmaceuticals. Smart and efficient delivery of active food components, protein bioseparation, nanoencapsulation of nutraceuticals are few of the emerging topics in food and agriculture nanotechnology.

Other advancement in food and agriculture biotechnology is the nano-films and their applications in packaging also the smart materials for sensing properties make it more fit to be used in food and agriculture sector. Industrialists, scientists and researchers are focusing to meet their need with the help of nanotechnology e.g. high nutrition level, efficient nutritional delivery, more shelf life, good mechanical properties as well as longer shelf life and durability of food-products.

Nanomaterials exhibit different chemical and physical properties, such as nano range size, size distribution, surface area and volume ratio, various surface properties, shape, chemical composition and agglomeration state, which are not apparent in bulk materials. Hence, it is not shocking that implementation of nanotechnology techniques in several industrial areas, such as cosmetics, medicine, food, construction materials, etc. have greatly grown in the last decade.

Nanotechnology applications in food sectors include: encapsulation and targeted delivery of particles, enhancing the flavor and sensory properties, adding antibacterial nanoparticles into food, increase shelf life of food, detecting contamination and improved food storage. Nanotechnology in food also results in change the nutritional functionality, eliminates different types of chemicals and pathogens from food (Chellaram et al. 2014). Nanotechnology has been results revolutionizing approach in food engineering food system from fabrication to processing, storage, and creation of new advanced materials, products, and applications. Currently, the market of nanotechnology food industry products has reached US$1 billion.


Image Credit:  AZO Nano

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